The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has said that the United States may have spent taxpayer dollars on schools and teachers that did not exist, Khaama Press reported.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has spent $769 million supporting education in Afghanistan as of March 31, 2015.
SIGAR said an enquiry into the $769 million spent on Afghanistan’s education sector by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) was published.
“The letter references allegations that former Ministry of Education (MOE) officials provided false data to the government and to international donors claiming greater numbers of active schools around the country in order to obtain greater funding,” SIGAR added.
According to SIGAR, USAID uses data the MOE provides to measure progress made by education programs and to make funding decisions, but USAID has said it cannot verify this data, and it now appears this data may have been falsified.
“SIGAR believes the allegations about ghost schools, ghost students, and ghost teachers call for immediate action,” SIGAR added.
In the meantime, USAID’s assistant administrator in the office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs, Larry Sampler, said they are looking into it.
“USAID takes seriously any allegations of manipulated or falsified data,” Sampler said. “We have asked the Ministry of Education for more information regarding the Minister’s statement. Like all USAID projects in Afghanistan, USAID-implemented education projects adhere to the Agency’s strict practices for monitoring their performance and success,” Sampler said through a statement to Washington Post.