Gov't bid to ensure transparency in SSA funds

Gov't bid to ensure transparency in SSA funds

The government-aided schools will also have to show the status of SSA funds and the money spent from it on various heads

Every government school will now have to display on their notice boards all the grants they have received and expenditure towards implementation of the Centre-sponsored Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) to bring transparency in public spending.

The government-aided schools will also have to show the status of SSA funds and the money spent from it on various heads.

Besides, these schools will also have to display and periodically update on their notice boards the status of enrolment, attendance and performance of their students.

The Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry has made public disclosure of grants received and spent mandatory for all the schools covered under the SSA.

It has introduced an enabling provision for this in a manual of Financial Management and Procurement for the SSA. The states and Union territories are required to follow the guidelines prescribed in the manual in order to receive grants from the Centre under the scheme.

The move is aimed at making the financial flow and the outcome of their utilisation transparent at the level of schools.

“Every school should display all the grants received and spent on civil and other than civil by the school as well as enrolment, attendance, performance, incentive and the details thereof. All reports of information should be sent to district project offices (DPOs) by the schools and shall be displayed on the school notice board,” the SSA guidelines for financial management and procurement stipulates.

The HRD ministry rolled out the SSA in May this year as an integrated scheme on school education.

The scheme was created by subsuming the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan and various teacher education schemes into one integrated programme to treat school education “holistically” without segmentation from pre-nursery level to class 12 (pre-university).

In its guidelines for the states and UTs, the ministry has laid special emphasis on the requirement of an effective mechanism for community-level monitoring of the implementation of the scheme at each of the schools to be getting the SSA funds.

“Community-based monitoring is one of the strengths of the scheme which can become a major weakness if not implemented properly,” the ministry noted.

It has mandated the states and the UTs to ensure that the school development and management committee members conduct inspection “regularly" to see how SSA components are being implemented.

”Parent-teachers association, other community and local body members can also inspect the school,” the guidelines provide.