November 21, 2021 healthcare

Pandemic takes its toll on many MoE projects


The Ministry of Education (MoE) has been paying the price for the repercussions of the health crisis in many of its projects and stalled tenders due to the requirements of supervisory authorities, reports Al-Rai daily quoting a source from the educational sector. This has prompted the ministry to search for effective solutions to emergency situations, such as providing buses for students with special needs after the Ministry of Finance canceled the transportation item from its budget.

The item will not be included in the annual budget before the adoption of the new budget on April 1, the source revealed. In order to overcome the crisis, the ministry decided to rent 35 to 40 buses through direct contracting and referred the matter to the Ministry of Finance with justifications for the request considering the urgent need for transportation, the source explained.

The source stressed that provision of buses is an urgent need so it should be done through any legitimate means to alleviate the suffering of parents, especially since 17 special needs schools are located in Hawally only. The source also pointed out the need of some students with disabilities for special seats, which are not available in regular vehicles. The source stated that the Ministry of Finance usually looks into the requests of government agencies and has no problem in approving direct purchase requests, if the need is urgent; but the problem is that purchases under this system cannot exceed KD75,000.

Therefore, the system cannot be relied on in solving major crises, which usually arise due to the delay in the processing of tenders in regulatory authorities. The source indicated that the transportation tender for schools with special needs used to be included in the tender for the provision of buses to public schools; but due to the cancellation of the transportation clause, the Administrative Sector was forced to rent special education buses through direct contracting. The source added that tenders for buses and food for kindergartens in the State Audit Bureau (SAB) take time to process due to the documentary requirements.

He said the supervisory authorities had repeatedly asked the Ministry of Education about the date of full resumption of classes, but the latter did not give a definite response as it waited for developments in the health situation and the decision of the Corona Committee in the Council of Ministers. He also confirmed that the ministry has prepared study plans for the full resumption of classes in the second semester.

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