July 12, 2022
It is absolutely shocking that the Education Minister in the middle of the campaign period for the general elections is seeking to hire a media communications company using taxpayers’ funds to promote her on social media including Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, said National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad.
The NFP Leader said tender documents clearly state that the scope of work and projected outcomes for both the Education Ministry and Minister Premila Kumar, which are clearly aimed at electioneering.
Professor Prasad said Mrs Kumar is named in the tender document and the consultants will have to develop a social media strategy and create content for her. He said the tender closes on 3rd August and the duration of the contract will be for 3 years.
“This is at the height of insanity. The first decision by the Education Minister and her Ministry into the new financial year and new budget cycle that starts on 1st August is to recruit a firm through a tender process using public funds to boost both her and the ministry’s public image”.
“Instead of planning and looking at ways to improve the quality of education, welfare of teachers and students, and helping school authorities maintain classrooms and buildings, the minister is hell-bent on politicking. Why does the minister and the ministry want to be on TikTok?”
“In the Revised 2021-22 budget, the ministry had an allocation of $644,000 for travel and communications. Therefore, clearly this is in addition to what is likely to be a similar allocation in the 2022-23 budget”.
“This a minister who is fond at lecturing teachers and students. In March she described a Degree just as a piece of paper. A few days ago she accused teachers in maritime and rural areas of drinking grog whole night and disappearing during the day”.
“And now, in what is a blatant abuse of public funds, the minister’s priority is to hire consultants to boost her image on social media, write her speeches, do parliamentary research and do public relations and media management”.
“A perusal of the tender documents show that it is tailor-made for a communications company formed after the 2018 elections, which is being paid public funds to do public relations for some ministries and other entities”.
“This is how hard-earned taxpayers’ funds are abused and wasted by this heartless and cruel government”.