A Question of Responsibility...
- By: Ken Nunes
Most school Administrators are aware that their electricity and water bills are too high or at least can be significantly reduced.
1. Can the school afford the present (even low) costs of the utility services?
2. Can the school afford the costs of fixing the problem?
What seems clear is that they can’t afford to do both...
Or is it a question of responsibility?
Payment of utility accounts and general maintenance are the responsibility of each individual school, expected to apportion adequate funds for electricity and water bills and general repairs, either from the funds received from the Department of Education and/or school fees.
Problem is: There appears to be no clear definition of the limits of these responsibilities.
- The definition of “general maintenance” and “infrastructural repairs” seems unclear.
- Are underground water mains considered “general maintenance” or “infrastructure”
- And if infrastructure, is the school responsible for the repair or is someone else?
- And if someone else, which someone else?
- Is a burst underground water pipe of a school constructed in 1980, considered “general maintenance”?
With scant data or benchmarks available, do we actually know the existence of a problem?
It’s an interesting question and one that deserves clear(er) understanding.
The funding received by the school is hardly adequate for General Maintenance and certainly beyond the reach of infrastructural repairs, which surely is not the responsibility of the school.