Marcellino Pipite, you are a disgrace to the nationPosted: August 30, 2012
“Put children first. Because children’s well-being is paramount to our country’s development, investment in children is the best investment we can make”, said Minister for Finance and Economic Management Moana Carcasses yesterday, while launching the Vanuatu Child Poverty and Disparities Study on behalf of UNICEF Pacific.
Sadly, it would appear that Carcasses’ fellow Minister in the current Coalition government, Minister for Education Marcellino Pipite, does not share his views.
Quite the opposite, in fact — Pipite is single-handedly blocking the delivery of vital stationery to Vanuatu’s primary schools, it would seem. A competitive tender was advertised for this, and Sharper Image won on the 5th of April. It is now almost September, and our primary schools are still without their stationery. Why? Does the Minister want the tender to go to someone else? At a cost 52% higher than the winning tender? Sources within the education sector tell us that the ‘business’ that Pipite supposedly wants the tender to go to has been defunct since 2005, having closed down after similar allegations were made of a dirty deal.
Reproduced below is a letter supplied to us that was written by Roy Obed, Director of Education Services to all head teachers of primary schools in the country. It explains the reasons for the non-delivery of their stationery.
This is an absolute outrage. Prime Minister Sato Kilman should demand Pipite’s resignation at once. Because after all, as Moana Carcasses says, “children’s well-being is paramount to our country’s development”.
text of the letter:
Wednesday 28 June 2012
To Head Teachers,
Re: STATIONERY ORDER 2012 FOR PRIMARY SCHOOLS – YEARS 1 to 6
I regret to inform you that the Ministry of Education is not able to organize the delivery of your stationery order due to the refusal by the Minister of Education to sign the contract with Sharper Image, the supplier which was endorsed by the Office of the Central Tenders Board on the 5th April as the rightful winner of the tender.
For your information, the tender had achieved a 52% price saving, which would have been refunded to each of the 79 schools which had lodged an order through the MoE.
You will find attached to this letter your initial order and cheque. You are now advised to contact Sharper Image directly (Sergine Festa – Sales Manager – email sharper.sales_at_vanuatu.com.vu – tel: 24 906 – mobile 77 27379) who will be able to assist you directly with your order.
Please accept our sincere apologies.
Yours Sincerely, Roy OBED
[Signature and seal]
Director Education Services