By Frank Kamuntu
Kampala: In his various presidential addresses on COVID-19, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni pledged that due to the continuous lockdown which has affected the school calendar, Government was set to distribute free radios and TV sets not meant to assist in the forthcoming virtual political campaigns but facilitate distance learning and teaching across Uganda.
As we report this now, our insider source in the Ministry of Education and Sports has revealed to us that the Ministry has already received funds to be used in the acquisition of radio sets to facilitate learning of both primary and secondary students, that will be distributed free of charge to all Ugandan districts.
“The Ministry for Education and Sports has received funds to be used in the acquisition of radio sets to be used in the distance learning of primary pupils and secondary students in the lockdown,” a source said.
It has also been revealed that the Ministry seeks procuring Five (05) million locally made radio sets which will be assembled in two lots of 2.5 million each, that will be distributed to each household.
TheSpy Uganda has also learnt that the Ministry is already inviting sealed bids from standard eligible bidders for the supply of the same, who will apply in accordance with the open bidding method contained in the public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act (PPDA), 2003,
However, the Ministry which is aiming to curb distance learning imbalances, according to our source, is also targeting to collect billions of money in the bidding exercise since one of the requirements of bidding is that bidders will purchase English application documents and submit them with written application up on a non-refunded cash of ugx100,000 that will be channeled through the bank advice form obtained directly from the URA website.
Not only that, the source adds that, the Ministry asked all the bidders to apply with the security fee of Ugx950 million per lot in form of the bank guarantee in the format contained in the bidding document and must be delivered to the Ministry website at www.education.go.ug at before 10:00am on 22 August 2020.
The Ministry says bid security must remain valid until 30th December 2020 and late bids shall be rejected. The bids will be opened in the presence of the bidders representatives who choose to attend via zoom, the zoom ID and password details will be published on the Ministry’s website on 19 August 2020.
However,some Education analysts have since pitched holes in the arrangement of learning through radios and TVs arguing that it’s the whole process is simply a non-starter. “Does the president know that there’s an area in Uganda where they’ve never seen even the light of electricity, forget about switching on a bulb, I’m talking about seeing the light. How then do you give them a TV or Radio? To do what? What about when the child hasn’t understood and needs to ask the teacher? What will happen? Make a call to the teacher? Thing is, this is another scheme to eat tax payers’ money,like always,” said an analyst who preferred anonymity.