The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) has hailed Inspired Computer Technology Consultant (ICTC Malawi) following successful inspections of printing and packaging of approved textbooks for the new curriculum.
MoEST, using K7 billion funding from an African Development Bank (AfDB) loan, awarded a tender to ICTC and Mallory-Maneno joint venture to supply textbooks.
Initialy, the tender to supply textbooks was awarded to Tradewinds Worldwide Limited, but it was withdraw because the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) was investigating the company over its involvement in Cashgate—the plunder of public resources at Capital Hill.
Then ICTC won a substantial part of the tender with the MOEST without significant experience and financial ability.
However, sources involved in the procurement at MOEST have told Nyasa Times that they did not doubt ICTC abilities to deliver.
“We conducted a thorough due diligence prior to the contract award. There was nothing wrong with their submission, they got the price strategy right, delivery proposal right and all contracts with publishers were valid,” said the MOEST official.
The official also praised ICTC Malawi for besides contracting international publishers shared the ‘cake’ with some local publishers like Chancellor College Publications, Nthaka Publications, Visa, Bookmate, Claim Mabuku, Bookland and Maneno-Cambridge Press.
Local publishers have either delivered in full or in part with competitions at the end of the year. This follows MOEST inspections in Blantyre and Lilongwe conducted on 22 December 2017 led by Joilly Mwale and Brighton Nsiku of procurement department.
The international publishers are: Pearson Education, Holder Education and Cambridge Press and their books were inspected by MOEST officials between 18 November 2017 to 24 December 2017 included the following: Raphael Agabu (Director of Inspection & Advisory Services), Brighton Nsiku (Chief Procurement Officer), Richard Kaudzu (Assistant Director Debt & Aid), Thoko Banda (Chief Director), Edward Jeke (Deputy Director), Chikondano Mussa (Director of Secondary & Distance Education), Melayi Banda (Secondary Directorate), Grace Mphandamkoko (Directorate of Inspection & Advisory Services) and Joilly Mwale (Assistant Procurement Officer).
Investigations which Nyasa Times has done indicates that currently six containers text books are in the country and that some are in transit and expected into the country soon.
Nyasa Times has seen Bill of Lading issued by Atlas Shipping Services of India who work in partnership with local clearing agents Allied Freight Agencies as well as parking lists for all books in transit.
Further to that Nyasa Times has also seen signed inspection certificates by Ministry officials in different countries such as India, Dubai and South Africa.
“We are focused on delivering the learning materials that our students need. The Ministry of Education has seen all, the books that we were contracted to supply. Some are already in the country and others in transit,” said Partridge Shycal.
“The issue of non-delivery is well past. The consignee of the books shipment is Ministry of Education. When they inspected and passed the printing, both quality and volume, ICTC part delivered on its contract. So, the question of capacity is no longer valid. We have delivered as this is the practice in such tenders,” Shycal added.
Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec) executive director Benedicto Kondowe said the need to provide textbooks to government secondary school could not be overemphasised to ensure “quality and ability of students to acquire and generate new knowledge on their own.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :