Maia Sandu received million dollars from Iurie Leancă in 2014 and spent the money to receive loyalty of NGOs and experts. Iurie Leancă actually took that money from billionaire George Soros for investment in the country's education, according to an investigation published by voceabasarabiei.
The study said that politician Maia Sandu used the money to form and promote Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) that she leads. Precisely, that was a project named Supporting the Reform in Education in the Republic of Moldova, implemented between 6/2014 - 12/2015 with a budget of $992.500.
Despite the project's purposes showed in the name, only less than 40% of the funds were used specifically to modernize the country's education system.
According to Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, part of money offered by Soros was spent for devotees of grants.
"The Education Ministry (the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research at present) has been the main partner, beneficiary of the Moldova Education Reform Support Project, implemented through the Soros Foundation- Moldova between 4/2014 - 12/2015.
The available funds for the mentioned project amounted to $ 992,500, including:
- $ 269,500 - supporting the activities of the Working Groups on Curricular Reform and Teacher Development;
- $ 250,000, subsequently supplemented by $ 80,000 - for employing Civil Society in Supporting Education Reforms (Institute for Public Policy, CATALACTICA, Pro Didactica);
- $ 393,000 - Learning Labs for Schools - Multimedia Classes.
According to the investigation, roughly 600,000 dollars were offered to NGOs close to Maia Sandu. The direct support for schools, professors and pupils was lower.
The amount of nearly $400,000 for 29 schools generated additional cost which the educational institutions had to bear.
Totally, 152 application were submitted by schools but only around 30 ones were accepted.
If the entire budget had been allocated to the Multimedia Class component, there would be 70 modern technology rooms now, not 29 rooms as there are. Or over 40 Multimedia Classed should have been done, write journalists from voceabasarabiei.md.
The investigation also reveals that even 29 selected schools were not perfectly built. A special class management software was also procured for them.
The project was implemented between 6/2014 - 12/2015. This means that not all rooms are operational at the same time.
Furthermore, the software bought by NGOs close to Sandu expired before the end of project. The Soros Moldova Foundation confirmed this in a letter to Ministry of Education.
"The license of this software expired on 31/10/2015 and its prolongation for the next year was paid by their own financial resources as the project doesn't provide for prolongation expense.
However, the Foundation managed to negotiate a consideration discount in license extension (from €500 to € 156). Interested schools could buy it online from the company website or by bank transfer. Unfortunately, they had difficulties in proceeding payment", quoted the message of Soros Foundation on 11/11/2015.
AS a result, the NGO requested "assistance of Education Ministry to resolve the issue by issuing a provision for schools who benefit from Multimedia Class to proceed payment to prolong software license", quoted the letter.
It is suggested that after 60% of project budget was hacked by NGOs, the state had to assume the cost which could have been borne by the same project.
From money to modernize the country's education, $115,000 came to the Institute for Public Policy which turned into "center of ideas and frameworks" for PAS.
About CATALACTICA Association, it received $ 100,000 while Pro Didactica Educational Center got $34,000.
According to the Soros Moldova Foundation report, "following the success of the organized activities", it had to add $ 80,000 to these projects.
In spite of money spent by Soros to modify school curriculum, it failed to help young people to develop necessary skills for further studies.
To this end, the modification cost nearly $ 270,000, deploy 140 experts to hard works, however, the curriculum is stuck, according to the investigation.
Deputy PM Iurie Leancă took $1M from the billionaire George Soros and gave Maia Sandu to invest in the country's education. It happened while Leancă was prime minister and Sandu was Education Minister. The politician Leancă revealed this on a TV show.