International News Desk – At Home: Strahl stands behind cuts to First Nations University – In Foreign News: US suspends education aid to Kenya

International News Desk – At Home: Strahl stands behind cuts to First Nations University – In Foreign News: US suspends education aid to Kenya

At Home: Strahl stands behind cuts to First Nations University

In spite of the outcry over funding cuts, Chuck Strahl stands behind the decision to stop funding the First Nations University of Canada (FNUC). Strahl is the Indian Affairs and Northern Development Minister. As the CBC reports, Strahl announced on February 8 that his department ?would stop giving money to the Saskatchewan-based university as of April 1.?

In 2009, the university received a $7.2 million operating grant from Indian Affairs. As well, the Saskatchewan government provides about $5.2 million per year to FNUC.

But Strahl told reporters that the Indian Affairs funds cut from FNUC will be redirected to assist other First Nations students, and stressed that the recent decision had more to do with poor governance than with money.

Even as the university is struggling financially, it faces allegations of misspending. It has been criticized for having a large board of governors, one that is ?dominated by First Nations chiefs and other politicians.? Both the federal and provincial governments have urged FNUC to fix its governance and spending issues, at one point making funding conditional on governance reform.

However, as Strahl told reporters, ?Every deadline came and went many times.? Following the announcement, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations will reportedly dissolve FNUC’s board of governors.

In Foreign News: US suspends education aid to Kenya

In 2003, a new education program was started that would allow over a million Kenyan children to attend school for the first time. The Free Primary Education (FPE) program received funding from the US and Britain, among other countries, and was hailed as a major breakthrough in accessibility.

But as the Afrol News network reports, as much as $1.3 million US has been ?stolen or diverted to other use by senior Education ministry officials,? and the fraud allegations mean that the US has suspended its planned five-year funding of the program. The missing money came to light during an audit last year by the Kenyan Finance Ministry.

In December, Britain announced that it was halting further funding of the program. At the time, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki ordered a ?thorough investigation into allegations of mismanagement and massive fraud? at the country’s education ministry. He also issued a statement calling for the involvement of Kenya’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and the Anti Corruption Commission (KACC).

Two months after the scandal first erupted, however, Kenyans? anger is increasing as education officials deny responsibility and the government has yet to find the culprits.

%d bloggers like this: