Ministry of Education joins notorious list of most corrupt institutions in Sri Lanka?

Ministry of Education joins notorious list of most corrupt institutions in Sri Lanka?

Written by Staff Writer

27 Aug, 2019 | 10:45 pm

Colombo (News1st) – Following is a revelation by Action TV into the dealings of the General Secretary of the UNP, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam.

The Government after coming into power in 2015 boasted about many things and made many promises. And some things they promised were those the people never expected or dreamed of one fine example of such is the provision of TABs for schools students and teachers.

Rather than distributing the tabs to all school students in the country, the President intervened and it was decided to launch this as a pilot project and to provide tabs to selected schools.

However, the Minister of Education did something completely unexpected.

The final decision reached by the President was to launch this as a pilot project and to upgrade the specifications. But the problem is when you upgrade technical equipment like these tabs, new tenders need to be called again. But without doing that, the Ministry of Education decides to stick to the tenders called for back in 2017 and go ahead with a seller of their choosing.

Now speaking of textbooks, we come to another interesting juncture here, it is the same Minister, Akila Viraj Kariyawas, who prints his colour photograph on textbooks given to school children.

Isn’t this a bad example for the school children who are budding leaders, who are waiting to take up the future of the country?

The Minister is now asking for Rs 55 million for publicity purposes. The reasons behind this request are quite surprising.

Basically, he is asking for Rs 55 million to educate children on what tab computers are and to explain the importance of using it and is seeking funding before the end of the school term. The Ministry of Education has already selected 3 companies, called for the tenders in order to start this publicity campaign. They have already decided to call for tenders and select a company according to their own whims and fancies rather than selecting the lowest bidder.

There were two bidders: One at Rs.70 million and one for Rs.55 million.

Now Rs.55 million might seem as fair against the Rs.70 million but let’s see who is going to carry out a publicity campaign for tab computers to be distributed to school children.

We attempted to research this particular company, but our efforts were proven futile as the company was nowhere to be found on the internet. But again we have revealed, we have emphasized how corruption is involved in this endeavour.

Ministry of Education does not possess the faintest idea as to what the school children can do once these tabs reach their hands. This was confirmed by the cabinet paper requesting for learning content.

Now isn’t this an attempt to sell or privatize free education in Sri Lanka?

Forming syllabi, training teachers, are done by the National Institute of Education. According to this cabinet paper, the learning content recommended by the National Institute of Education must be purchased.

Where can the content recommended by the National Institute of Education be found?

The price of a tab is at Rs. 27,000 rupees whereas the Ministry asks for Rs.3008 million for 96,919 tabs. On calculating, the price of a tab has increased from Rs.3000 which raises serious concerns.

Another Rs 350 million, the cost to set up the electronic systems to charge these tabs is to be given to the same company undertaking the publicity campaign.

This can be termed as a large financial fraud by the Ministry of Education and some of the schools selected for the pilot project do not even have electricity.

Next comes the distribution of vouchers for school uniforms another failed achievement of the Good Governance Government which they claimed was to put an end to corruption. The Chief Accountant of the Ministry of Education, testifying before the Presidential Commission last week, accepted that malfeasance to the tune of Rs 450 million had occurred last year alone by providing these vouchers.

Several institutions were branded as the most corrupt, and it seems the Ministry of Education is about to join that list.

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