Posted by Stephen Manker on Jul 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Nearly $21 million stolen from Colombia’s government by local schools

Colombia News - Education Minister

Colombia’s education minister promised Monday to increase audits in order to fight corruption in local schools, which has already cost the country’s education system nearly $21 million.

President Juan Manuel Santos announced that of the six towns that were recently audited by the Ministry of Education, four of the towns had inflated student attendance figures.

According to Caracol Radio, Education Minister Maria Fernanda Campo has promised to expand audits to verify the number of reported students enrolled in local schools.

Schools in the departments of Cesar and Bolivar, and in the cities of Cucuta and Soacha allegedly stole $20.6 million from the government by falsifying names and records of students.

President Santos asked both officials and citizens to help fight this type of corruption in the education system.

“I call on all Colombians to help us identify these sources of corruption. When it’s all said and done, it’s about where the money allocated to social investment, to healthcare, to improve education, to fighting poverty and creating jobs for Colombians actually ends up. And if we all unite and work together to fight corruption effectively, we are going to save lots of money, ” said Santos on Saturday

The President has announced rigid anti-corruption measures since taking office in August last year. Since then several major corruption scandals were uncovered.