The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has asked the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) to recover and refund a total of Tk 6.45 million as its audit identified the amount as ‘ineligible expenditure’ in the project titled “Generation Breakthrough”.
Generation Breakthrough project is a multi-pronged community approach to build health relationships for the primary prevention of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and for meeting the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) needs of adolescents and youth in Bangladesh.
On August 15, UNFPA officer-in-charge Sathya Doraiswamy issued a letter to secondary and higher education division secretary Md Sohorab Hossain in this regard and warned that the project would not receive further funding until the issue was resolved.
Sathya issued the letter after UNFPA’s Foreign Aided Project Audit Directorate on April 25, 2017 issued an audit report that categorised Tk 6.45 million out of Tk 7.82 million as ‘ineligible expenditure’ and recommended to recover and refund the money.
The project also got a ‘qualified opinion’ in 2016 as generally accepted accounting principles or popularly known as GAAP were ignored in the project’s financial reporting.
Dr. Md. Jhangir Hossain, director (planning) of DHSE also director of the Generation Breakthrough project told dainikshiksha.com on August 20 that he received the letter and would take necessary steps soon.
Launched in July 2013, Generation Breakthrough project aimed to groom boys and girls aged between 10 and 19 so that they become responsible, non-violent, healthy and happy individuals.
The project’s goals also include building healthy relationships to primarily prevent gender-based violence, meet sexual and reproductive healthcare needs and establish rights of adolescents; and to create related awareness among adolescents.
The project is being implemented in four districts — Dhaka, Barisal, Patuakhali and Barguna — targeting to reach 2,80,000 adolescent boys and girls.
On December 28, 2016, the authorities concerned extended the project implementation period for two years without increasing the project cost.
Replying to a query, a director of DSHE told dainikshiksha.com that the project, in some cases, is being used as a tool of managing the education hierarchy. For example, he said : `Kazi Shahjahan is the private secretary to Md. Sohrab Hossain, the secretary of the secondary and higher education division of education ministry. Kazi Shahjahan takes classes in the training course of the project.’
`And such VIP instructors needed to pay a handsome remuneration though it is beyond the rate fixed by the project,’ he added.