ISLAMABAD: As the schools managed by the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) undergo renovation and face-lift under a Rs7.4 billion project, the education ministry has sought Rs 3.5 billion from the federal government in the upcoming budget to complete the major part of the said project in the financial year 2024-25.

The project titled ‘Provision of Basic Educational Facilities in Educational Institutions of ICT’ was initiated in 2021 and the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government had allocated Rs2 billion for this project in FY23-24 to ensure the smooth flow of work.

“The ongoing progress of our project is good and we want to take forward this project in the next financial year with the same speed; therefore, we have sought Rs3.5 billion [from the federal government] under the PSDP funding,” said an official of the education ministry. According to the official, the FDE wanted to complete “the major portion” of the project by the next financial year.

As per a report shared by the education ministry about the progress of this project, 252 washrooms have been upgraded in 63 schools, whereas 21 primary schools have also been renovated during the ongoing financial year.

“Roof treatment completed in 43 schools. IT parks established in five institutes. 21 libraries set up in primary schools. Artwork completed in 30 schools, with remaining projects underway. Furniture delivered to 21 primary schools and IT parks, with remaining projects in progress. Security wall renovation ongoing for 80 schools,” read a statement from the education ministry.

Likewise, the entrances to 30 schools have been renovated while the rest are in progress. “Acrylic boards and corridor upgrades completed in 40 institutes, with remaining projects in progress. 100 wash stations provided in 50 institutes. 21 rooms renovated for IT labs,” the statement added.

According to the ministry, electric works in 30 schools are “nearly completed”, with work in 40 schools expected to finish soon.

It added that 120 rooms in 23 schools were at plinth level or above and the ministry aimed to complete the work relating to the grey structure by the end of June. “65 rooms in 16 schools are at the roof level, with finishing works expected to be completed by the end of June. Remaining rooms are being expedited for completion by November-December 2024,” read the statement.

It is relevant to note here, the project was launched in 2021 and initially, its total cost was Rs6.5 billion. In a revised PC-I, the cost increased to Rs7.4 billion. The said project was launched keeping in view the fact that FDE had mostly retained educational institutions handed over to it by the government of Punjab in 1973 and 1985. Officials in the FDE said a substantial portion of these buildings was in a dilapidated condition and required rehabilitation.

Initially, the scope of work in PC-I included rehabilitation of the existing infrastructure in 170 institutes and five area education offices, construction of 507 classrooms, 148 toilet blocks, 14 bathrooms, two visitor rooms, three receptions, 17 servant quarters, 32 guardrooms, 17 staff rooms, 97 staircases, one workshop, 20 canteens, 39 laboratories, 17 libraries, 26 mumties (structures on the rooftop), 18 computer labs, five admin blocks, four conference rooms, six bus sheds, two common rooms, three auditoriums, four offices, seven principal offices, 13 clerk rooms, and three water tanks among others.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2024

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