To counter PITB’s monitoring program, school heads in Punjab embezzled millions of rupees by purchasing tablets.
According to details, there are 1143 Monitoring and Evaluation Assistants (MEA’s) have been employed by PITB, who are retired army personnel to monitor teacher attendance, facilitation, school environment, availability of necessary facilities including the performance monitoring of students in each of 53,000 schools of Punjab.
In this regard, the Punjab Information Technology Board adopted an E-Reporting system.
Today, when a PITB monitor reaches a school, he is required to take his and head teacher picture and the picture of the school. The data is landed on PITB’s servers along with the geographical location and other necessary data.
Resistance against evaluation system
The fear of losing jobs and performance results getting public, the officials of school education department, EDOs and DCOs ordered the school heads to purchase “Tabs of their Choice” at “Their Own Expense” i-e from the available school funds.
As a part of an effort to counter the random assessment through MEAs and sabotage the entire theme, the purpose of this immediate procurement was to train the students through “Rote Learning” and continuous practice of question-answers through the very same app which is also available on Google Play.
Nevertheless, verbal or written, each and every school in Punjab has bought one Tab from its own school fund.
Below image shows one such order by an AEO.
The Purchase Order for Tablets
In several cases, school heads bought cheap tablets and utilized the remaining school fund for their personal needs. Where tabs of reasonable specs have been purchased, they are reportedly in use in their homes.
The authorities justified their move by mentioning that there was no specified model or specs of the tablets listed in the original proposal, and that is why schools had to purchase tabs of their choice from their own money.
The schools had no choice but to buy the tablets from the limited school funds. They were taken for a ride literally by the provincial authorities.
Overall, millions of Rupees Embezzled by School Heads and there is no exact mechanism with the district administration to establish a check and balance.
Interestingly, each school purchased one tab, which is highly insufficient for training a class of several dozens of students.
In actual, it is a perfect example of misusing funds at disposal.
Whether this exercise would prepare students for the random assessment tests of PITB or not, but surely, it has deprived hundred of schools of their precious funds which is usually spent for minor expenses like stationery, repairing of furniture, postal expenditures, immediate support for destitute students and refreshment of teachers.
It is high time that authorities in the education department stop trying to cheat the systems designed for making the public education system better.