Dhaka,  Thursday
25 April 2024

FIRST SIX MONTHS OF 2023-24FY

DIA fails to visit even one-third institutions of target

Sanjay Adhikari Rony

Published: 01:45, 28 February 2024

DIA fails to visit even one-third institutions of target

Photo : Messenger

The Directorate of Inspection and Audit (DIA) had initially aimed to inspect 2,300 educational institutions nationwide throughout the financial year 2023-2024. However, during the period from July to December, only 697 educational institutions were visited, falling significantly short of the target by one-third. Consequently, in order to fulfill the set objective, the remaining 1,603 educational institutions must be inspected by any means within the latter half of the year.

According to pertinent sources, there are approximately 36,700 MPO-affiliated educational institutions nationwide. The Directorate of Inspection and Audit (DIA), under the Ministry of Education, holds the sole responsibility for uncovering financial and administrative corruption, irregularities in teacher and staff appointments, as well as counterfeit certificates within these institutions. Despite setting annual targets for these inspections, they have not been met in the past three years, with the number of visits halving during this period. In response to this concerning trend, all relevant officials within the department are being mobilised for inspection duties.

Allegedly, this situation arose due to the idiosyncratic behavior of the former director, who purportedly kept officials confined to the office without assigning them inspection duties. Consequently, the number of visits dwindled by half over the past three years. In the financial year 2022-23, fewer than one thousand educational institutions were visited, significantly impeding the process of uncovering corruption and counterfeit certificates within these establishments.

Bipul Chandra Sarkar, Director (Routine Duties) of the Directorate of Inspection and Audit, has affirmed the organisation's commitment to achieving the target of inspecting educational institutions in the current financial year. He mentioned that all officials have been mobilised for inspection duties, with a particular emphasis not only on quantity but also on the quality of inspection reports.

According to data from the Ministry of Education, over 36,000 educational institutions are slated for inspection annually throughout the country. However, due to various constraints, it typically takes about 7-8 years before an institution is revisited for inspection. This prolonged interval has been exacerbated by the reduction in the number of visits over the course of the past three years.

As per the directives of the cabinet, each ministry, directorate, and department is assigned specific targets for their work throughout the year. This agreement between the cabinet and the respective institutions is known as the Annual Performance Agreement (APA). In the case of educational institutions, the APA for the fiscal year 2023-24 stipulated a target of visiting 2,300 institutions. However, since this target was not met within the first six months, the remaining 1,603 educational institutions are now targeted to be visited by June to fulfill the agreement.

In response to inquiries regarding the feasibility of visiting a significant number of educational institutions within a short timeframe, DIA director Bipul Chandra Sarkar explained that inspectors typically cover 4-5 or even more educational institutions within a district or upazila. He emphasized that this approach enables not only inspections but also ensures the quality of the inspection process within the given period.

Meanwhile, DIA visited a total of 5,615 public and private schools, colleges, madrasas and technical institutes from FY 2019-20 to FY 2021-22. In these three financial years, financial irregularities worth Tk 120.86 crore have been identified and recommended to return this money to the government treasury.

Earlier, DIA inspected 9,294 educational institutions and identified fake certificates of 433 teachers in the three fiscal years 2016-17 to 2018-19. At the same time, DIA recommended to collect Tk 58,89,89,107 taken as salary allowance of the teacher who was appointed with fake certificate.

Since its establishment in 1986, the Directorate of Inspection and Audit (DIA) has encountered significant growth in the number of educational institutions across the country. While there were only 7,500 institutions at that time, the current count stands at 36,700. However, the infrastructure and manpower of DIA have not expanded proportionally to accommodate this substantial increase. Consequently, the organization's activities have faced challenges in regaining momentum, given the limitations imposed by this disparity.

Messenger/Disha

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