Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

ONPA releases Audit Report on Chuuk Department of Education textbooks and instructional materials

Palikir, Pohnpei (Office of the FSM National Public Auditor): February 22, 2010 - The Office of the National Public Auditor announces the release of report No. 2010-01Audit of Chuuk Department of Education Textbooks and Instructional Materials. The report is available for public review online at the Auditor's website www.fsmopa.fm and copies are available at the Auditor's offices in Palikir and on Weno.

The ONPA's Inspection of Procurement Activities at Chuuk Department of Education (Report No. 2009-04 released July 2009) had found that textbooks remained in the Department's warehouse for at least eight months. Concerned that books and supplies had not reached the classroom, the current audit was conducted as a follow-up to determine the extent to which students had the necessary educational tools. The three specific objectives of the audit were to 1) determine whether Chuuk DOE provided the needed textbooks and instructional materials to students, 2) to determine whether textbooks and instructional materials were safeguarded, and 3) to determine whether the approved curriculum was being taught in the classrooms.

Based on inventory counts conducted by the audit team at 13 schools and reports submitted by other schools, the audit team concluded that Chuuk DOE failed to provide many students with textbooks and instructional materials. Though Chuuk DOE received $3,902,657 in educational sector grant funding in a three year period for the purchase of textbooks, many classes lacked textbooks. No books had been purchased for the first and second grades. At specific schools, some grades lacked books for specific classes. For example, the Chuuk High School 10th grade did not have any science books, Murilio Elementary School had no 4th grade math books, and Udot Elementary School had no social science books for the 3rd - 8th grades.

The audit team concluded that the failure to purchase and provide textbooks resulted from the failure of DOE management to perform its function. DOE had not developed a purchasing plan nor did it implement an inventory management system. Moreover, DOE management did not monitor staff responsible for the procurement and delivery function and therefore was not aware of the existing condition. Furthermore, approximately $82,000 worth of textbooks were distributed to private schools even though the needs of public school students were not met.

The audit team also found isolated instances in which books had been purchased but were not being used. Due to leaky roofs and lack of locking doors at some schools in the Chuuk lagoon the principals, concerned they would be held financially liable for lost and damaged books, did not distribute the books to classrooms. In other instances, teachers lacked the subject or teaching methodology knowledge and therefore did not use the books.

The audit also concluded that schools and students were not being held responsible for lost and damaged textbooks. DOE established policies that require schools to conduct quarterly inventories and hold teachers and students responsible for lost and damaged books. However, the audit testing revealed that only about 57% of schools submit inventory reports and DOE does not compare the inventory reports submitted by the schools to DOE's record of the number of books it provided to the school. Principals and teachers interviewed by the audit team stated that they were not familiar with the policy. According to DOE management, copies of the policy were provided to schools in 2007 but DOE has provided no further reminders of the policy.

Third and final objective of the audit was to determine whether teachers are following the approved curriculum developed by DOE. DOE policy requires teachers to complete daily lessons and for the principals to review the plans. However, site visits conducted by the audit team revealed that over 85% of teachers were not consistently preparing lesson plans (known as Form Ts). Moreover, several teachers and principals interviewed by the audit team stated that they did not have a copy of the curriculum standards. Some principals further stated that they did not consider reviewing lesson plans to be a mandatory task required of them by DOE. DOE management acknowledged that it was aware that in most instances lessons plans are not being prepared, however it has not taken action to rectify the situation.

The audit report included several recommendations to address the aforementioned problems. To address textbook shortages, it was recommended that DOE develop and implement a purchasing plan, improve its record keeping, and that management perform its duty of monitoring whether staff are performing at a satisfactory level. To hold school officials and students accountable for lost and damaged textbooks, it was recommended that DOE communicate the policy to all schools, enforce the existing policy that requires submittal of quarterly reports, and hold the principals accountable for collecting and submitting fees. To ensure teachers teach the approved curriculum or at least submit daily plans, it was recommended that DOE take steps to ensure teachers have the proper skills, knowledge, and ability to complete lesson plans and that DOE then hold the principals accountable for ensuring the plans are completed.


For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356
e-mail: fsmpio@mail.fm
http://www.fsmpio.fm/