Government has acknowledged that it is faced with serious challenges with its records management system ÔÇô a situation which has resulted in financial loss running into millions.
Appearing before the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC), the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Skills Development Prof Theophilus Mooko confirmed that the ministry is struggling with collection of revenue from previously sponsored students.
Although he could not give specific figures, Mooko admitted in clear cut terms that the ministry’s records are in a bad shape. “Loan books need to very accurate and other records are still missing and this is a serious concern,” said Mooko.
He went on to assure the committee that they are doing all they can to resolve the glitch. When further quizzed on the recovery of revenue and the mechanism being used by the ministry, Mooko stated that government is working around the clock to update the entire record keeping on tertiary loan books, adding that recovery of the money is a priority.
He further spoke at length about the challenges they are facing with regard to funding for basic education. Whilst he expressed the importance of funding tertiary education, he said there is also a need to trim down the tertiary sector budget to upgrade basic education.
“Public schools lack basic resources, commitment and team spirit. We are aware of the current challenges around food, equipment and books in schools,” said Mooko.
When asked by MP Dithapelo Keorapetse about the poor student’s academic performances which have been steadily regressing over the years, Mooko said there is need to monitor student’s performances. He also called on the government to increase funding and necessary resources in order to improve outcomes.
“We generally failed as a nation and what needs to be done is to improve the education processes in place and also do proper supervision in schools,” he concluded.