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Report on the visit to Morzal Kazi Md. BashirHigh School 

 1.    Introduction:
 
“Ignorance holds a man in benighted prison wherefrom education sets him free and equips him with the means of physical existence and spiritual development.”


1.    Background:
 
Professor Jasimuz Zaman, Chair, Alliance for Progress Worldwide (APW), Alberta, Canada visited Bangladesh in the first quarter of 2010. Before he came to Bangladesh he had contacted Mr. Shafiqul Islam, a former Project Director of UNICEF, Bangladesh, a Patron of APW and an education enthusiast informed him about the objectives and activities of APW. Then Professor Zaman expressed his desire to Mr. Shafiq to have some assistance for his organization. It was sensed that he had the intention of promoting the quality of secondary education in the selected high schools in Bangladesh. Upon his arrival, various ways to support his organization were discussed in a meeting between Professor Zaman and Mr. Shafiq. Towards that end, Mr. Shafiq introduced him to Mr. M Yahya, the Executive Director (ED) of CDIP where he made a presentation on APW before the senior members of the CDIP. On his request the ED agreed to give his support for the purpose.  
Prof. Jasimz Zaman wrote a letter to the Head master of the school and informed him that a team would visit his school to conduct an audit of the fund provided by APW. The ED, CDIP nominated Mr Shajahan Bhuiya, the Vice-chairman of the Executive Committee of CDIP to act with Mr. Shafiqul Islam in the audit team. He communicated to the Headmaster about the program of visit and also provided a car for the purpose.


2.    Purpose:
 
The purposes of the visit the school are the following:  
o    to conduct an audit of the fund provided by APW as part of the accountability and transparency requirement;
o    to recognize the benefits of the funds that helped the students; and
o    to explore the scope of working together for making greater impact on quality education.
 
3.    Scope:
 
The scope of the work was to audit the books of accounts with documents and vouchers from which they were written up, have an understanding of how the grants
benefited the students from the discussions with the stakeholders and also gathering ideas on the ways and means of creating impact on quality education.


4.    Limitation:
 
The visit was scheduled for half-a-day on 23 May 2010. It was a holiday when the team did not find any teacher and student except the Headmaster, one member of the School Managing Committee and an Assistant. Moreover, the team did not have a written TOR except the photocopy of the letter written to the Headmaster and prior discussions amongst some concerned people.


5.    Method:
 
The method included discussions with the Headmaster and a member of the School Managing Committee, intelligent and critical scrutiny of the books of accounts and relevant files and observation.  
    

2.    Observation and Findings:
 
2.1 The team reached the Kazi Md. Bashir High School, Morjal Bazar, Upazila Raipur, District Narshingdi, Bangladesh on 23 May 2010 at about 11:00 a.m. Mr. Md. Shafiqul Islam, the Headmaster of the school received the team member warmly. Thereafter, the members explained the purpose of the visit to the Headmaster and the member of the School Managing Committee Mr. Md. Hafij Uddin. After some discussions, the Headmaster presented necessary documents such as the first application seeking funds with detailed item wise budgets, cash book and supportive vouchers. He also briefed the members about the bank account and the procedure to operate the same.

 

2.     Mr. Md. Hafizuddin a member of the School managing committee narrated about the functioning of SMC and their active participation in the school development work. He informed that as per rules they used to make resolutions for development projects and programs and also oversee their implementation. This project also met with all laid down procedural requirements.
 
3.    The headmaster of the school gave the statement of the receipts and payments which as under:
 
The school received Tk.201,000.00 in 2008 from APW for the following purposes:
a) Classroom supplies    Tk.50,000.00
b) Science Lab and furniture  Tk.38,000.00
c) Stipends for the poor students Tk.8000.00
d) Students coaching   Tk.25,000.00
e) Computer Lab   Tk.80,000.00
 

We examined the item-wise expenditures and found that 40 pairs of benches were made with Tk.50,000.00, one table for science lab and equipments were procured with 38,000.00, stipends to 8 students, 4 at junior level and 4 at SSC level were given on the basis of their performances, 5 teachers were paid Tk.25,000.00 @ Tk. 5000.00 each for coaching at junior and SSC levels. And two computers were procured with Tk.80,000.00. Two teachers have been trained on computer use and application. A large number of students wanted to learn computer skills. The school authority applied to the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE) for inclusion of computer as a subject at SSC level.


The headmaster also informed the members that the school received Tk.97,500.00 ( Tk. 65,000 in November and December 2009 + Tk. 32,500 in February 2010). This money was spent for the purpose of procuring benches and coaching. They spent Tk. 65, 000.00 for making 30 pairs of benches, Tk. 25,000.00 for coaching and Tk. 8000.00 for stipend.


The team members asked how the expenditure was almost equal to the receipt without any surplus or deficit of project money. The explanation given was that there were some deficits for making furniture, but the deficit was made up from other source of income of the school. The Headmaster showed the cash book and relevant vouchers. The team members were satisfied but felt the need of not mixing up project money with that from other sources.
Apart from the rapid conduction of the audit, issues of benefit to students and also impact on quality education were discussed. Both the respondents told that whatever they received from APW went a long way to meet some of their requirements. The students got new benches to sit on, computers for lab, teachers for coaching junior scholarship and SSC students and stipend for poor and meritorious students.  


The Headmaster informed the members that the school had about 1400 students. There were 17 teachers on MPO and 4 were recruited by the SMC to cope with the students’ need. It was told that all teachers are trained and refresher trainings are taking place regularly. Despite these trainings, there was a felt need that the shortage of English and Math teachers were hindering the progress of imparting quality education in the school.  


The school starts from class VI with terminal point at class X. So, all the students at class VI are enrolled fresh. Before the enrollment of students, exam tests on different subjects are held. At that time, a negligible percentage can obtain necessary qualifying marks in Math and English. It was told that only 15 students out of about 60 could pass in these subjects in the entry level exam for enrollment in 2010.


Although quality education is directly related with quality input into the school ( new entrants), the process that is followed for imparting knowledge and skill and people (teachers and members of the SMC), critical measures that are necessary is to improve the competence level of entry level students at class VI in English and Math as in the demand side and to upgrade the knowledge and skill of teachers in the aforesaid subjects as in the supply side. The process needs critical review when the teachers impart the education. As the team could not do this part during the visit, this work has to be undertaken as and when the opportunity comes. Only two teachers received training on computer application when the need exists for training of all teachers in the area for in an age of Information and Communication Technology ( ICT) teachers can not be computer illiterate.  


The hardcore poor and meritorious students need financial and additional teaching supports for their improvement. This number ranges from 25 to 30 percent.
   
The team saw a school yearly plan showing the activities to be performed in 2010 which was prepared by the Headmaster with the participation of the teachers of the school for coordinating and monitoring the performances. He also informed that the members of the SMC took specific responsibility. In order to have congenial school relations with the stakeholders, they constituted PTA (parent teachers association) and it has been active.  
 
The school area comprises of one acre and 57 decimal which includes the play ground. The school compound is wide and spacious accommodating the school building. For further accommodation, there is space for expansion.


Conclusion:
From the above observation and findings, it can be said that the rapid conduction of auditing has revealed that expenditure of funds were according to items in the budget and the standard accounting practices and rules for schools. However, project surplus or deficiency, if any, should be clearly shown.
The deficiency of entry level students at class VI should be made up by coaching of the students in English and Math.in addition to that of junior scholarship and SSC levels. The teachers should also upgrade their knowledge and skills in these subjects through appropriate trainings for quality education in the school. Moreover, all teachers should be computer-literate along with an upgraded computer lab in the school.  
Hardcore and meritorious students should receive some financial and learning support from the school, if possible. Physical infrastructural support may be provided as an aid to quality education.    
The headmaster disclosed that according to the results of last the public examinations the school held second position in Raipur upazila. He seemed highly motivated  to be number one in the upazila.

 

Quotes

 

We are an envy to other schools because of our science lab. Thanks to APW for its invaluable contribution.

  -- Headmaster, Mominpur High School
 

The teachers are inspired by the contribution of APW in coaching.

  -- Headmaster, Morjal High School
 

With help from APW, our students can dream of becoming professionals.

  -- Managing Committee Chairman, Barakeshtola High School
 

Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development

  -- Kofi Annan
 

Education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world

  -- Nelson Mandela