Building work at many schools in the central province of Quang Ngai has been kept in limbo for years due to a feeble management mechanism and school personnel’s incompetence.
A school construction project asleep in the central province of Quang Ngai
Begun in 2005, the construction of many components of a project worth almost VND11 billion ($533,000) to expand Le Khiet High School for the Gifted in Quang Ngai City, the provincial capital, is never completed and has been abandoned for years.
The school has repeatedly asked the contractor to resume the construction work but has yet to receive any reply from them.
Similarly, the construction of an administrative block, a dormitory, and some functional rooms at Ba To Middle School in Ba To District has not been completed although the contractor was obligated to finish it in late August 2008.
Bui Thi Tam, the school’s principal, says the contractor blamed the delay on their financial difficulties and promised to resume the construction in a near future.
Many other schools in the region also suffer from the same ordeal, like Ba Gia High School in Son Tinh District, Pham Van Dong High School in Mo Duc District and Tran Phu Middle School in Quang Ngai City.
Do Van Phu, vice director of the provincial Department of Education and Training, attributes the suspension to an ineffective management mechanism in which the Department of Planning and Investment is authorised to license nearly all construction projects but fails to play any supervisory role in the entire implementation process.
His department, which should be kept informed of all education facilities projects, has few clues about these projects, Phu adds.
School officials’ incompetence is also to blame for the incompletion of many projects, the education department says.
Ba To school management, for instance, paid the contractor 90 percent of the cost for building the aforementioned components even before their completion. The contractor took off with the money shortly after.
In nearly the same fashion, Le Khiet school management failed to prepare the necessary legal paperwork for the construction process and committed financial rule infringements, including overpaying the contractor.
Like the Ba To case, the contractor took advantage of those oversights to cease their work and fled away with the payment.
Most of the unfinished components are now in deteriorating condition, a waste of public funds since they are all financed by state capital.