The government has invited tenders worth Rs102.7 million for implementation of upgradation work on various government schools in the capital under the Prime Minister’s Education Reforms Initiative.
The tenders have been invited for maintenance, upgradation, renovation, installation of security and biometric attendance systems, IT labs, at 21 different public schools. Although, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced that first phase of the initiative – that involves up-gradation of 21 educational institutes will be completed by January 15, the physical work is expected to begin only by the end of next month.
The 21 schools out of 422 would be renovated under the project in different phases.
The project was officially initiated with the inauguration of a transformed girls’ school at Panjgran village located in the outskirts of capital by the prime minister on December 11.
The first component of the tender amounting Rs32.5 million involves furniture work at 21 schools; second, Rs14.9 million for art works at these schools, and third, worth Rs26.7 million for provision of IT labs, computers and printers, fourth Rs24 million for provision of CCTV cameras, and fifth Rs4.4 million for installation of biometric attendance terminal.
Earlier, it was reported that at all 422 schools required 1,191 new classrooms, 172 IT labs, 3,875 computers, 307 science labs, 692 clean drinking water plants, 86,384 chairs, 30,774 desks, 1,043 toilets, and 172 canteens.
While, under the PM’s programme, subject specialists and regular teaching staff will also be hired, as currently 1,736 teachers’ vacancies are lying vacant at these schools.
At the inaugural ceremony of Panjgran girls’ school, the PM had also announced that 200 school buses will also be provided phase wise.
The FDE Director-General, Dr Moinud Din Ahmad Wani, while talking to The Express Tribune said that the whole project would be completed within one and a half years.
Wani is part of a core team overseeing and executing this project and was appointed against this post after announcement of PM’s initiative for capital’s schools.
He said that the exact amount that would be incurred on whole project was not yet known, as assessment of physical infrastructure and other required facilities at those schools was currently in progress.
Although, Wani said, allocations had not been made officially so far but mandatory funding to execute first phase of the project that was 21 schools had already been released by the federal government to the departments concerned.
The initiative is brainchild of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz, who is reportedly supervising each and every detail related to this programme.
Maryam managing education-related affairs in the capital without assuming any official position is apparently a move in response to the criticism Pfrom Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), when she was officially appointed chairperson of PM’s Youth Loan Programme in 2013. The prime minister’s daughter was forced to resign from the position of chairperson of the programme in 2014, after the PTI moved the Lahore High Court against her appointment.
With the announcement of this programme, the capital’s education sector had witnessed a number of significant administrative changes.
Some “clean” officers were posted at key positions at the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE), and the Ministry of Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD).
Published in The Express Tribune, December 31st, 2015.