By Supinda na Mahachai
A new committee will soon spring into action to procure tablets for students for the 2013 academic year.
Representatives from the Office of Basic Education Commission (Obec) and the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) will play a key role in this committee.
“This new committee will also include representatives from eight other agencies,” Obec secretary-general Chinnapat Bhumirat said on Thursday.
He was speaking after he emerged from a meeting with the policy committee for the One Tablet Per Child Project, which is the result of an election policy of the ruling Pheu Thai Party.
According to Chinnapat, it was agreed at the meeting that the new committee will be established to boost co-ordination among all relevant agencies and facilitate the procurement and distribution of the tablets.
Chinnapat said tablets would be procured for all Pathom 1 and Mathayom 1 students for use in the 2013 academic year, which will start in a few months.
“This new committee is going to draft the terms of reference [TOR] for the procurement soon. After the TOR are ready, the e-auctions will take place,” Chinnapat said.
He expected the Cabinet to consider next Tuesday a proposal recommending that Obec organise four e-auctions for tablet procurement.
Two of the e-auctions are for tablets for Pathom 1 students, for which a budget of Bt2,720 per tablet has been set. The two others auctions will handle the tablets for Mathayom 1 students, with a per-tablet budget of Bt2,920. The devices for the older students will be bigger, with a screen width of eight inches. The younger students’ devices will have a seven-inch-wide screen. Separate auctions are to be held for students in different zones. The Central region and the South are labelled as Zone 1. The North and Northeastern regions comprise Zone 2.
“The specifications will be better than those of the tablets bought last year,” Surapon Nawamawat said in his capacity as an adviser to the ICT minister.
A total of 1,803,337 tablets will be bought via the e-auctions, which have a total budget of about Bt5 billion.