Published: 22nd May 2018
Three years on, a school in Palakkad still waits for digitisation
The bidders had floated the tender and there were three bidders for the work. The lowest tender will execute the digitisation process.
The digitisation of the classrooms of the Government Moyan's Girls Higher Secondary School, Palakkad, which began in 2015 and was expected to be completed in two months is yet to be completed. With the new academic year set to begin, it has become a political slugfest.
Set up in 1918, the school is celebrating its centenary with a year-long programme. Moyan Kunhiraman, a foreign-educated Thalassery native, had contributed to the setting up of the school in Palakkad. In the early 20th century, he planned to use his savings to start a school for girls, but the idea evoked little interest at that time.
He later deposited a huge amount with the Madras Presidency to start a girls' school in Palakkad. Started as a primary school at Vadakkumthara, it was later shifted to the present campus at Tarekkad from the upper primary classes.
The school overtook the Government GHSS at Cotton Hill, Thiruvananthapuram, in most student strength three years ago. In the last academic year, student numbers at the Government Moyan's school stood at 4,574 and the school functions in two shifts. There are 57 divisions in Classes VIII, IX, and X.
"The digitisation process of the Government Moyan's school began in September 2015 and it is not yet complete," said E Krishnadas, district president of the BJP. "A sum of Rs 8 crore was sanctioned for the purpose. The work was awarded to Habitat Technology Centre, who was also the consultant, without a tender. It is the first time a consultant has been awarded the work. The work was to be completed within two months. There needs to be a vigilance enquiry into the awarding of the work."
Shafi Parambil, Congress MLA said the delay in the completion of the digitisation process was because of the transfer of many officers of the empowered committee under which the work was being executed. The empowered committee consists of the additional chief secretary, director of Public Instruction, the higher secondary school director, Palakkad MLA, Education secretary, District Collector and the deputy director of education. However, the latter three were transferred causing a delay.
He said the Habitat Technology centre was a government-accredited agency and according to a government order, civil works can be granted to an agency without tender if it was executed on a low-cost basis.
He pointed out it is not only the UDF Government, but also the LDF Government that is executing digitisation works with the support of the Habitat Technology Centre in many districts. He said the Palakkad Municipality had given two jobs within the Municipal limits to the Habitat Technology Centre.
Shafi pointed out 80 per cent of the civil work have been completed and the District Collector who is studying the file has agreed to disburse the necessary funds to execute the remaining work. The MLA said Keltron has floated the tender and there were three bidders for the work. The lowest tender will execute the digitisation process.
BJP district secretary P Rajeev said the Moyan's school in which so many girl students from poor families were studying is being denied the right to digitised classes for so many years. He said the work was being delayed due to the flouting of norms in the execution of the work.