By PATRICK TALU
MORE than 300 primary schools nationwide will benefit from a K20 million fund under the basic education development plan (BEDP) funded by AusAID.
BEDP regional adviser coordinator Paraka Pena and team leader Paul Constable of Coffey International yesterday told The National that the project was the second phase specifically for school maintenance and school infrastructure development.
“Stringent criteria are observed for those who qualify for the funds,” Mr Pena said.
He said the first phase focused on capacity building for the school board of managements, maintenance grants based on K10 per child and developing school infrastructures which were now in the process of implementation.
Mr Pena said BEDP’s funding were based on strict criteria, including a track record of the BOG school management, community support and free labour, effective implementation of the education reform and free land, among others.
He said five schools in all the districts in the 20 provinces had been selected for the BEDP project, except for NCD, Morobe, Gulf and Eastern Highlands provinces which are beneficiaries of similar funding by other donor agencies.
He said the K20 million would be spread out to the schools based on recommendations made by the respective provincial planning and implementation team, a sub-committee of the provincial education board that conducted the screening and selection of schools.
“Prior to that, extensive consultations on the purposes and expectations from the schools and communities were done before deciding on the project,” Mr Constable said.
“It’s a long process to follow because we want to ensure that we achieve the desired results in line with the Government policy.
“Since the launch of the project in 2004, more than 300 schools have benefited,” he said.
More than K6 million have been used for building classrooms, staff quarters, libraries, science laboratories, water tanks, school fencing and other infrastructure developments.
The BEDP project is expected to end on Dec 31.