Tenders for uniforms floated by govt schools draw a blank

  • Vivek Gupta, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: May 13, 2014 12:28 IST

Procurement of summer school uniforms are all set to meet the same fate as last year, with several government schools yet to receive even a single bid on their tender notices even as the deadline lapsed on Monday.

Last year, summer school unifor ms were received as late as October, when the school session was at an end. In Chandigarh, over one lakh school students from Class 1 to 8 are eligible to receive free school unifor ms as part of compliance with the Right to Education Act, 2009.

On April 28, 103 government schools uploaded tender notices on their respective websites asking suppliers to submit their procurement bids and price quotations before May 12.

HT’s random check of 10-12 g ove r n men t schools found most schools were still awaiting response.
GMSSS-20 head Nirmal Singh said that the school had received no response till 5pm on Monday.

GMSSS-32 and Government Model High School, Sector 34, also gave similar response.

Stating that such non-academic issues distracted school heads from academics, GMHS-34 head Vinod Sharma said it was time that the education department reviewed its procurement policy.

“The department should resort to the old system of centralised purchase or clusterwise purchase,” said Sharma, who is also the president of Government Teachers Union.

Before 2013, education department would make centralised purchase of uniforms for all schools, but t hi s re s ponsibility was entrusted to government schools since March last year. Schools were asked to procure the uniform according to their requirement under department guidelines, which includes a process of seeking tenders. Meanwhile, GMSSS26 head Alka Mehta said while the school received one bid, it was rendered useless as the department’s policy requires at least three bids to initiate the process to opening the tender.

GSSS-38 (W) principal Baljinder Singh , who also received one bid, said that he would send the information to the department on Tuesday.

GMSSS-46 and Government High School- Kejhri also did not get requisite number of bids, while GMHS-26 got no response.

Meanwhile, schools that failed to get a response continue to be in a fix. With department rules mandates such schools to retender their notice, the latter state that the process, being a lengthy one, is unlike to conclude before July or August, almost at the end of the session.

The education department, in a notice issued last month, had fixed the upper limit for school uniforms for students between Classes 1 and 5 at ` 300 and for those between Classes 6 and 8 at ` 375 per set. Stating that the rates are very low, school heads claim that the prices are responsible for the dismal response from suppliers.

Last year, while the process of purchasing summer uniforms concluded as late as October, the purchase of winter unifor ms met with a similar fate as several schools distributed uniform to their students in March, almost towards the end of the session.

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