Caretaker Education Minister Chaturon Chaisang yesterday presided over a caravan to deliver the first batch of 78,714 computer tablets to 10 central and southern provinces. A second batch would be delivered at the end of this month.
The batches, approved by the tablet committee as meeting the MILSD 105 E standards, consisted of 74,054 tablets for students and 4,660 for teachers in Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan, Chachoengsao, Chon Buri, Ayutthaya, Lop Buri, Saraburi, Krabi, Phatthalung and Ratchaburi.
According to Office of Basic Education Commission chief Apichart Jeerawuth, Obec procured 426,683 tablets under the “One Tablet PC per Child” project for academic year 2013 for Mathayom 1 in the Zone 3 (central and southern regions) from Supreme Distribution (Thailand), which would deliver the products in four batches.
Caretaker Education Minister Chaturon Chaisang said tablet PCs for Zone 3 should be fully delivered before the end of the first semester.
As for other zones, Obec requires an additional Bt14.55 million to pay China’s Haier Group for 431,105 tablets meant for Prathom 1 students in Zone 1 (Central region and the South), Chaturon said. This is because Haier’s price is higher than the amount initially proposed by Shenzhen Yitao Intelligent Control, he said. The Obec is planning to sue Shenzhen Yitao Intelligent Control for compensation later, he added.
After Shenzhen Yitao Intelligent Control cancelled its contract to provide tablets for Zones 1 and 2 earlier this year, the ministry launched a new round of bidding. Chinese firm Haier and local company Thai Transmission Industry (TTI) emerged as winners.
TTI will provide 373,637 tablets for Prathom 1 students in Zone 2 (North and Northeast) once a contract is signed this week, Chaturon said. He added that Obec was in the process of organising an e-auction for tablets for Mathayom 1 in Zone 4 (also North and Northeast) next month, and delivery should be completed by June.
The panel overseeing the “One Tablet PC per Child” project initially agreed to have eight agencies with schools under their jurisdiction to find bidders to buy computer tablets separately for the next academic year, provided the details and specs were within the terms of reference set by the Obec, Chaturon said.