2nd Lead (Adds corrections)
UNICEF reinducts school-dropouts back to education
[TamilNet, Sunday, 18 January 2004, 19:21 GMT]
UNICEF is providing funds to the Kalkuda educational region in Batticaloa district to setup special classes in 14 centers to reinduct children who dropped out of school due to poverty and war back into the educational stream, officials said.
Under this plan compulsory education for everyone under fourteen years is being enforced. After one year of study in these special education centers students are evaluated and allowed to join public schools at the appropriate grade level.
350 students are expected to join the 14 centers. Fourteen teachers have been appointed under this scheme. UNICEF is funding the teacher salaries, cost of building temporary sheds and the cost of the educational supplies.
UNICEF funds are to be disbursed through Kalkudah Department of Education.
Civil society leaders, however, allege that during the last two years the Zonal Director of Education, the UNICEF co-ordinator and field officers were involved in "gross misuse" of UNICEF funds.
"Teachers salaries were not paid. The authorities failed to properly reimburse teachers of stipends allocated for teacher training. There were also irregularities in the procurement of educational supplies," civil society leaders told TamilNet.
The civil leader urge the UNICEF to install proper procedures to ensure that funds are used for education and not to line the pockets of the local education authorities.