No progress in ICT, autism projects of education

Md Solamain Salman

11 July, 2019 12:00 AM printer

There is very little progress in the two projects — National Academy for Autism and neuron development Disabilities (NAAND) and ICT Education in Secondary and Higher Secondary Level project (Phase-2).

Though the deadline of the projects is nearing to end, no visible progress is there in the two important projects of the Directorate of Secondary and higher education (DSHE).  

The scenario came up at the semi-annual monitoring report (July-December-2018) prepared by Monitoring and Evaluation Wings of DSHE.

DSHE is implementing the two projects spending around Tk2,000 crore for the development of the education sector. Due to the slow progress, DSHE is now trying to increasing pace in the projects changing project director (PD).

A total of 15 projects are being implemented under the supervision of the DSHE. The progress reports of the projects were unveiled by Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni at a ceremony on Thursday.

In the monitoring and evaluation wing report, the National Academy for Autism and neuron development Disabilities (NAAND) and ICT Education in Secondary and Higher Secondary Level project (Phase-2) got 21.7 marks and 18.84 marks respectively out of 100.

The NAAND project was launched in 2014 with a cost of Tk422.68 crore. The project was supposed to end in 2016 but there is no progress in land acquisition to build autism academy, building construction and purchase of training equipment and set-up.

As the project failed to complete within the scheduled time, the period of the project was extended to 2023 correcting the project.

Only 3.33 acre land was purchased at the capital’s Purbachal to build Autistic Academy. A total of Tk 5.85 crore was spent till December 2018 for land acquiring and salaries and allowances of projects officials which is only 12.98 percent of project expenditure.

The report said a special initiative was needed to implement the important project.

The report also said the NAAND project is important at the national level.

Through the project, the autistic and disable children will find ways to active lifecycle and eventually they will be able to generate economic activities in the society.

It also mentioned that PIU should take active initiative to establish the proposed academy.

Meanwhile, the ICT Education in Secondary and Higher Secondary Level project (Phase-2) started in 2016 and the project is scheduled to end in 2020 but there is no significant progress.

The project’s total allocation is Tk1,353 crore but the authorities concerned spent only TK404 crore till December last year.  

The aim of the project is to set up multimedia class room at educational institutions and train the teachers. But the purchase of related ICT materials is yet to start though two years have passed.

The report said on completion of the project, the socio-economic activities will be generated by utilizing the students skills on computer programmes. The project has been targeted to provide training to about 5 lakh students on ICT lessons.

The report said there is a programme in the project documents “Enterprise Resource Skills (ERS) which is likely to find out possible scopes for creating skill development programme and that could be introduced among the students at the secondary and higher secondary levels.

Under this programme, environmental institutions, ICT related outsourcing on commercial point of view, attendance of teacher in the classrooms including mentoring system at the institution could be introduced.

According to the report, DSHE is implementing a total of 15 projects including the two projects regarding the development of the quality of education in the country.

The 13 other projects are Secondary Education Sector Investment Program, establish of 11 school and 6 college (government) in Dhaka city, Development of post-graduate government colleges for improving quality education, development of selected Non-government college along with ICT facilities for improvement of colleges, Establishment of 7 government  secondary schools in Sylhet, Barishal and khulna, Teaching quality improvement in secondary education, establishment of 10 secondary school in Peripheral area of Dhaka, Development of government secondary school, Fostering opportunities of science education in public colleges, secondary education stipend project, Higher secondary stipend project, secondary education development programme and generation breakthrough project.

There is also a massive allegation of corruption, irregularities in the implementation of education projects.

At the ceremony of unveiling the monitoring and evaluation wing report, senior Secretary Md Sohorab Hossain said, “Many projects are marred by irregularities and illegal activities, which should be reported during monitoring and evaluation processes to address the weaknesses.”

“As per my knowledge, irregularities and illegal activities occurred in many projects. We caught them and took action.”