Community hostels must shape up

• Could lose state subsidies

06 May 2021 | Education



The days are numbered for community hostels which misappropriate state funds and fail to produce audited financial reports.

The education ministry has vowed not to continue funding hostels that use the money for unintended purposes.

Education ministry executive director Sanet Steenkamp said an audit of community hostels had found misappropriation of state subsidies.

Last year, the government spent about N$111 million on community hostels - N$22 per learner per day.

These funds are meant for food and the upkeep of the hostels.

“We have done a community hostel audit and the executive director and the minister have the right to stop funding community hostels because we could see there is no sound financial management and the funds are not used for the intended purposes as stipulated in the hostel guideline.

“Those are the things we are currently doing,” Steenkamp said.

Last chance

She said community hostels would continue to receive funding for the second semester, but if they failed to produce sound financial reports at the end of the term, they would likely lose their funding.

“Should we find that there is no improvement … they will not be considered,” Steenkamp said. “What we are asking regional directors is to have better control and accountability from the community hostels.”

Over the years, media have reported on the deplorable state of community hostels-

despite the government funding.

Failure to comply may result in the closure of these hostels, which play a crucial role in enabling learners from remote areas to attend school.

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