Money for school uniforms fraud probe at Matthews Ridge Nursery School

An investigation is ongoing into claims of fraud at the Matthews Ridge Nursery School in the North West District, in connection with money allocated for sewing school uniforms.

The investigation follows alleged reports that unbeknownst to them for two years, the signatures of several parents of students at the Matthews Ridge Nursery School had been forged, and their National Identification card numbers utilised to uplift monies allocated for the sewing of school uniforms for their children.

 Like the uniform vouchers, which are usually distributed by the Minis-try of Education at the end of each school year, parents in the Hinterland would usually benefit from the distribution of uniform material and some financial assistance for the sewing of the uniforms.

One concerned resident from the community, who contacted Stabroek News, explained that several parents were unaware that in addition to collecting uniform material, they were to also receive $1,000 in cash, to be used for the sewing of the school uniform.

This came to light sometime last week during a visit by the Community Development Officer who inquired of parents whether they had collected their monies. It was then that parents began to question the process and the school’s record book was requested. Subsequently, it was discovered that the signatures had allegedly been forged and the relevant National Identification numbers recorded, as though the parents had collected the monies.

Stabroek News was further informed that later that afternoon an official from the said school, visited the parents who had alleged that their signatures had been forged and distributed monies dating back to 2015 which would have been allocated for this specific purpose.

It was explained that an official complaint had been lodged with the District Community Development Officer, who subsequently reported the matter to the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs and the Ministry of Education.

Meanwhile, a source close to the investigation has since revealed that the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs has received the complaint, but has allowed the matter to be dealt with at the Regional level. It was further explained that the ministry is presently awaiting the findings of the said investigation.

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