25 Sep Senator Zubiri Seeks to Clear Out Public School Funds of ‘Ghost Students’ in Mindanao
Senator Juan Zubiri has proposed a system modification on the current distribution of public school funds in which ‘ghost students’ or those undocumented or fake student profiles allegedly submitted by supervisors and educators in the country especially those that are coming from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
In an article from Inquirer.net, Zubiri made the proposal after some reports reached the Committee on Finance of the Senate that there are over 207, 884 ghost students that are identified from 2011 to 2016 in ARMM.
Zubiri claimed that there are possibilities that educators themselves are adding the number and filling in the names of the students on purpose so that they could receive a bigger budget from the government.
He said that the anomaly has been going on for quite some time until it was exposed by ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman in 2012 and discovered that it was done through the help of some government agencies.
Zubiri also added that the creation of ‘ghost students’ for a bigger and anomalous budget for public schools has been seen as one of the leading contributors which causing poverty in Mindanao.
Hataman, on the other hand, has been trying to address the issue happening especially at ARMM Provinces such as Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, and Basilan through the implementation of Learners’ Reference Number (LRN), an advanced banking system that ensures each pupil is distinctly identified from one another and whose information is being kept in a databank called Learner’s Information System.
In 2013, Hataman already eradicated over 80,000 and 40 ghost students and teachers from government records cutting down more than 10% of the total number of students for that year.
He also said that some of the involved people have already been filed with criminal charges.