The Colombian Comptroller’s Office verifies the execution of the PAE in La Guajira. Photo: archive
For alleged irregularities in the execution of the School Feeding Program (PAE) in the municipality of Maní, department of Casanare, during the 2016 school calendar, the Attorney General’s Office filed charges against the mayor of this town during that period, Tony Wilfred Ávila Hernández.
As the control body was able to establish, the ex-president of this municipality in eastern Colombia would have omitted the provision of this service to students of official institutions from the first day of the school calendar and throughout 2016, the year in which he assumed office. Ávila Hernández, despite having budgetary resources close to $ 246,729,324.
“The spending authority in its territory must advance the PAE contracting processes necessary to execute in a timely manner throughout the current school calendar, the resources allocated for this purpose,” said the Public Ministry.
For this reason, the control body considered that the principle of effectiveness could be violated, because the administrative authorities in the country have the function of ensuring child protection and the provision of balanced nutrition throughout the school day, as This program of the Ministry of Education contemplates, in order to guarantee the rights of children and young people to education and food.
The possible fault of the former mayor Ávila Hernández was provisionally classified by the Public Ministry as serious as a very serious fault, due to the alleged lack of commitment of the then president of Maní with the minor population of this municipality, a behavior that has been recurrent in other localities in the country, which has been sanctioned and reproached by the authorities and civil society.
“The Casanare Regional Prosecutor’s Office specified that, once the investigation stage is over, the file will be sent by jurisdiction to the Delegate Prosecutor’s Office for Disciplinary Trial (distribution), before which the procedural subjects may present discharges, free version, and contribute and / or request evidence and their allegations, if they deem it pertinent, “said the supervisory body.
This decision of the Attorney General’s Office shows shortcomings in this program, which has been questioned in several municipalities of the country and in the study of the Laboratory of Economics of Education (LEE) of the Javeriana University, which determined, based on the Quality Survey de Vida del Dane and the Integrated Enrollment System, that in 2020, the year in which the health crisis of covid-19 was registered, 476 thousand students from public schools stopped receiving school meals.
This implies a decrease of 15% with respect to the coverage that had been achieved in 2019, according to the report delivered, preschool students were the most affected population after they stopped receiving food before the pandemic, coverage of the 78%, due to the pandemic, only 67% of them received the necessary food. These figures indicate that 72 thousand children lost their school meals.
Attorney General Francisco Barbosa fined for contempt Dane announced that the national economy grew at an annual rate of 9.3% in October