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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Auditor-General Report 2008 - $10mil Teaching equipment missing

RM10m worth of teaching equipment 'missing'
Rahmah Ghazali; August 30, 2008; Malaysiakini

Teaching equipment for Science and Mathematic in English worth RM9.56 million has gone missing between 2005 and 2007 in 812 schools nationwide.

According to the Auditor-General’s Report, the government had approved an allocation of RM4.99 million for the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English from 2002 and 2008.

Of the amount, the government paid RM2.21 million for the purchase of information and computer technology (ICT) equipment from 2002 and 2007.

Apart from the missing equipment, the report also detected some irregularities where the installation works of the equipment were not complete but testing and installation certificates had been signed by school authorities.

The report further revealed that the testing and installation certificates were still signed by the school authorities despite sloppy installation and poor condition of the equipment upon arrival.

The equipment, based on the report, was also not maintained in compliance with standards set out in the 2007 Treasury circulars.

The delayed arrival of the equipment to the schools was also under scrutiny. Other than that, the installation of the equipment was also not done properly.

A blow to Education Ministry?

The report also highlighted that there was no punitive action taken against the main supplier for the delay so far.

Excess facilities were also detected in the report where teaching equipment such as laptops outnumbering the teachers hired to teach Science and Mathematics in English.

Teaching Science and Maths in English was the brainchild of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to improve students proficiency in the language.

These findings in the report could be seen as another blow for the Education Ministry as many vernacular schools have been protesting against instruction in the medium.

However, an alternative formula was reached for vernacular Chinese schools as a compromise after strong protests from the community.

Source: Malaysiakini

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