Saturday 15 September 2012

DAP: Release World Bank report on school spending - Ida Lim

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 — Putrajaya should disclose the World Bank Public Expenditure Report 2011 to prevent future “overspending” and “wastages” in improving school infrastructure, said the DAP’s election strategist Ong Kian Ming.
He said this was crucial to find out “where and how these wastages occurred”, adding that there would otherwise be “little confidence” that the ambitious targets of the newly-unveiled National Education Blueprint (NEB) 2013-2025 to upgrade schools “will succeed where past plans have failed.”
“Despite spending almost RM20 billion of the RM40 billion allocated to education in the 9th Malaysia Plan on physical and other infrastructure improvements, the delivered outcomes were shockingly poor,” Ong (picture) said in a statement today.
He was referring to statistics in the NEB on the improvement in school infrastructure from 2005 to 2011. 
“For example, despite the almost RM16 billion spent on physical infrastructure development, the number of schools without access to clean water decreased by only 85. 
“Despite the RM2.8 billion spent on IT infrastructure, the number of schools without computer labs was reduced by only 68. 
“What is more worrying is the statistic that the number of schools without adequate science labs has actually increased by 336,” Ong said.
The World Bank report also shows a “consistent trend of overspending by the MoE (Ministry of Education) in its operating budget, peaking at 10.7 per cent (or approximately RM2 billion) in 2010”, he said.
He said there should be a “comprehensive review” of the ministry’s overspending and “the manner in which projects are contracted out”.
Yesterday, the newly-formed Pakatan Rakyat Education Taskforce (PET) had asked for public disclosure of the World Bank report, the UNESCO report, Tan Sri Prof Dzukifli Abdul Razak’s Malaysia Review Panel report and the International Review Panel’s report. On Wednesday, local think-tank IDEAS chief executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan had also asked for the four reports to be made public, saying that they cost “millions”.
In the new education blueprint launched on Tuesday, Malaysia aims to be in the top third of the Programme For International Student Assessment (PISA) test within the next 13 years. The country is currently ranked in the bottom third.
The blueprint comprises 11 “shifts” to inculcate six attributes in children — knowledge, thinking skills, leadership, bilingual proficiency, ethics and national identity.
The education blueprint report is available for free from the Education Ministry website.

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