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ISLAMABAD: The Prime Minister’s Education Reforms Programme steering committee on Wednesday called the findings of a monitoring report for the project “biased and prejudiced” and rejected the report.

A report by Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) monitoring teams on 30 randomly selected schools being renovated in the current phase of the reforms programme had pointed on deficiencies, such as substandard construction and furniture, in the schools visited.

One of the reports had said that school principals should not issue completion certificates to contractors, and alleged that while there should be an inbuilt monitoring system for the project, the FDE’s monitoring team had been kept out.

The project is being executed by a project management unit formed by Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Minister Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, who also heads the steering committee.

FDE told to ‘re-monitor’ 30 schools, monitor remaining 170 and submit report within 15 days

An official statement issued by the CADD ministry stated that the committee had “expressed serious concerns and dissatisfaction over the monitoring report submitted by the FDE regarding the work conducted in 30 randomly selected educational institutions and termed it as biased and prejudiced”.

The committee claimed that the report were not professionally prepared and had used a PC-I that had been revised several times. Committee members said the report lacked relevant facts and figures, and the framers of the report relied heavily on personal opinion instead of commenting on technical aspects of the project.

The committee has directed the director general of the FDE to “re-monitor the work carried out in the 30 educational institutions” and directed the FDE and the project director to monitor the remaining 170 schools together and submit a report within 15 days.

The monitoring teams will report on the quality of materials used in renovation work, the statement said. The committee has also directed the FDE to form a team that will certify institutions where civil works are complete and ready to be handed over to the directorate.

The government has allocated Rs2.7 billion for the physical renovation and provision of facilities in 200 schools, under the ongoing reforms programme.

CADD’s statement said Wednesday’s meeting was chaired by Dr Chaudhry, and attended by Communications Secretary Furqan Bahadur – who has additional charge as CADD secretary, FDE Director General Hasnat Qureshi, Project Director Waqas Farid and others.

The monitoring committees whose report was discussed were formed by the FDE and tasked with monitoring around 10 randomly selected schools each.

One committee, which was led by FDE Director Monitoring retired Maj Abdul Waheed, found deficiencies in all 12 of the schools – six urban and six rural – it surveyed.

In a report available with Dawn, this committee found the PC-I for the project to be vague and flawed. It also stated that work on various components of the project “was not rationalised and awarded without taking into consideration the size and capacity of the schools’ buildings area”.

The report said that most of the items mentioned in the bill of quantities (BOQ) were drastically overestimated, and the end users – principals – were “not in knowledge of actual work being carried out in their schools and there is no qualified person who could effectively supervise the work at work site”.

Published in Dawn, May 3rd, 2018