ISLAMABAD: The Federal Ministry of Education and Vocational Training has postponed until December 29 the process of opening financial offers from consulting companies to be hired for a mega project to provide basic facilities in 189 educational institutions from Islamabad.
The ministry was supposed to open the deals on December 20, however, due to the meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) foreign ministers, which concluded on Monday, the process was delayed until December 29.
Sources said around a dozen consulting firms had submitted their bids, adding that other interested companies could also join the process until December 28, and the bids would open on December 29.
The consultant will be expected to prepare a detailed design and oversee the approximately Rs 7 billion project.
New date set for December 29; Rs 6.9 billion increase program to be carried out in phases
This is a flagship project of the Ministry of Education led by Federal Minister Shafqat Mahmood, who played the main role in securing the allocated funds in the 2021-2022 fiscal year.
âThe successful bidder will prepare a detailed design and survey. Then we will proceed to a call for tenders to award the work, âsaid a ministry official.
A senior official of the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) said the project “Provision of basic facilities in ICT educational institutions” worth Rs 6.9 billion will be implemented in phases and that for the current fiscal year the government has already allocated 409 million rupees. for that.
As part of the reform program launched by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, around 200 schools have been renovated in the capital. As the remaining 183 schools were not part of the project, the Ministry of Education and FDE secured approved funds for the new project. In addition to the civil works, the project will provide basic facilities, including computer laboratories, in institutions.
FDE officials said most school buildings were in a state of disrepair requiring rehabilitation as a priority to ensure student safety.
An FDE working paper stated: “The project was prepared taking into account that the FDE mainly retained educational institutions handed over by the government of the Punjab in 1973 and 1985.”
A large part of these buildings is in a state of dilapidation requiring rehabilitation as a priority to ensure the safety of students in an environment conducive to quality education.
While annual building repair and maintenance is a recurring feature of civil works, no funds are allocated to FDE schools / colleges to maintain their physical infrastructure.
The working document indicates that only the PSDP meets the infrastructure needs of institutions, whether it is the rehabilitation of existing facilities or the construction of new structures.
Recently, the government by ordinance decided to place the FDE under the leadership of the not yet elected mayor. However, the teachers resisted and in their meeting with the Federal Minister appreciated his efforts to secure funds for the project.
They said that if the EDF was vested in the local government and the mayor, such megaprojects could not be carried out in the future because only the federal government could fund them.
Posted in Dawn, December 21, 2021