Race against time: Sluggish progress on data management system for schools

Work yet to initiate even though Aug 31 deadline close.


Riazul Haq August 20, 2014

ISLAMABAD: The installation of an information management system at two capital colleges might be delayed as work has yet to be initiated with 12 days left until the deadline.

A total of Rs1.5 million was handed over to the firm responsible for the project. The data management system was supposed to be functional by September 1.

The plan was to install the system at four colleges and a school under the pilot project, which included installation of card-swapping machines, staff training, updating data through the main centre and the system’s maintenance.

The system will also record attendance of students, teachers and other staff. Gradually, the system will also have training and service record of staff and statistics related to students and education.

The government published an advertisement on the website of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) on May 21, 2014. A three-member technical team was then assigned to assess the technical and financial bids. The contract was finally awarded to Next Level IT Solutions, an IT company, on June 6, 2014. It was selected from among four companies that submitted bids.

Within the pilot project, the company was assigned to first install the system at Islamabad Model College for Girls, F-7/2 and Islamabad Model College for Boys, F-8/4.

The total number of students at capital’s schools and colleges is 20,000 and the company was to charge Rs50 per student.

However, since education is free in the capital, the government will pay the total amount of Rs12 million annually.

Education funds re-appropriated

The Rs1.5 million the government paid the firm was re-appropriated from the head of primary education in this year’s budget. Sources say the funds transfer will affect the primary education sector.

A Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) official said the government had allocated a marginal amount for the primary education in the current fiscal year.

“Now with Rs1.5 million taken away, it will certainly affect plans and projects of primary education.”

The government has abolished all student charges in the form of fees after the passage of Article 25-A in the 18th Amendment.

CADD Minister Barrister Usman Ibrahim has also sought details about the project and reasons for re-appropriation of funds and delays.

Federal Directorate of Education Director Administration Ashraf Nadeem told The Express Tribune that institutions have the liberty to re-appropriate such funds for other projects for financial control and budgeting.

“It is a norm after assessing accuracy and justification of requests for grants, some funds are adjusted, re-appropriated as per system,” read the document sent to Ibrahim.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th,2014.

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