National, Front Page

Corrupt practices in school project: Part 1

Published : 08 Dec 2019 09:16 PM | Updated : 06 Sep 2020 09:00 PM

Government has taken the visionary project of establishing ten new secondary high schools in Dhaka city and its adjacent districts in a bid to offer quality education. However, a group of influential corrupt government officials are trying to obstruct the main goal of the project. The Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education under the Secondary and Higher Education Division of the Ministry of Education is implementing the project from July 2017. Sadly, till now only about two percent of the total project, worth Tk 673.46 crores, has been completed with hardly six months.

Sadly, till now only about two percent of the total project, worth Tk 673.46 crores, has been completed with hardly six months left before the project ends in June 2020. Dr Md Amirul Islam, a BCS Education cadre officer was appointed Project Director (PD) of the much-talked about project.

Project sources said that despite the poor record of implementation of the project, a group of corrupt government officials have prepared Revised Development Project Proposal (RDPP) raising the total cost of the project to Tk 1,124 crore. Earlier, ECNEC had approved the DPP allocating Tk 400 crore for acquisition of 20 acres of land for the (ten secondary high) schools premises. As per DPP, 20 acres of lands will be allocated for ten government high schools. Thus, each school will need two acres of land costing Tk 40 crore for each school as per the DPP. However, the syndicate led by some government officials have prepared a RDPP allegedly increasing the cost of the land to more than Tk 750 (please check with reporter if the figure is correct) crore for 20 acres of land. Hence, the cost of land has been doubled. Education Ministry sources said that the RDPP has already been sent to the Education Ministry from the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education. Without properly verifying the RDPP sent by the Project Director, a section of corrupt bureaucrats currently working in the Education Ministry, have become desperate to quickly send the RDPP to the ECNEC for final approval. The RDPP may be sent to the ECNEC this week. Some government officials, opposition such corrupt practice, demanded immediate intervention of the Minister senior officials concerned so that the corrupt group cannot benefit from such controversial RDPP. They said that the Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni and Secondary and Higher Secondary Division Senior Secretary Mohammad Sohrab Hossain are very strict on such corrupt issues and should act to prevent such action. About the proposed raised price of the land, Dr Md Amirul Islam, PD said, “The government has increased the rate of compensation. This is why the rate of the land in the RDPP was also increased.” He, however, said the responsibilities of increasing the land prices lies with the DC offices. (This the first part of a series report under the above headline.)