The government will construct 541 classrooms in Nakuru County ahead of the transition of learners from primary to junior secondary schools at a cost of Sh426.3 million.
County Director of Education, Mr Fredrick Osewe, said the Ministry of Education was working jointly with Ministry of Interior and the National Treasury to establish a framework for the construction of the classrooms in 322 selected secondary school to provide the additional learning space required for the over 54,000 new students set to join junior secondary within the devolved unit.
Speaking during a consultative session with Deputy County Commissioners and officials from Public Works Department on the planned construction of the targeted classrooms, Osewe indicated that 53 selected secondary schools across the 11 sub-counties would each get three new classrooms while 105 and 160 others would each have two new classrooms and one new classroom constructed respectively.
The County Director of Education said the building of the classrooms, each at a projected cost of Sh788, 000, would be constructed by contractors based near the schools, and the money would be remitted directly to the contractors in their respective sub-counties.
“This initiative will tap into the skilled manpower within the counties, empowering locals with enhanced economic opportunities,” he added.
During the occasion at Nakuru Boys High School, Osewe who was flanked by County Commissioner, Erastus Mbui Mwenda, urged all the sub-county commissioners to work closely with the targeted schools so that the programme runs on schedule as it was expected to end by April 2022.
The President in his Mashujaa Day speech directed the National Treasury to make available Sh8.1 billion for the project to support the primary to secondary school shift in the Competence-Based Curriculum (CBC).
The Head of State also appealed to MPs to give the programme priority in the National Government Constituencies Development Fund by constructing another 10,000 classrooms.
“I call on all Members of Parliament to stand together in solidarity with our children by prioritizing allocation of the CDF towards school infrastructure,” he said.
This means that by 2023 when the first CBC cohort will join junior secondary schools, 20,000 new classrooms should be ready.
Mbui said construction of the classrooms by local contracts is expected to tap into the skilled manpower within the counties thus empowering locals with enhanced economic opportunities.
In 2023, CBC pioneer learners will join junior secondary schools after sitting the Grade Six National Examinations, while the present Class Seven learners under the 8-4-4 system will join Form One after sitting KCPE examinations.
The total number of Grade Six and Standard Eight learners expected to join secondary school will be about 2,571,044.
Mbui called on neighbouring schools to share some of the resources with other government institutions to cut costs and for effective utilization.
This year, the government had allocated Sh4 billion towards infrastructure development in schools. This translates to about 5,000 new classrooms.
CBC report identified schools that would have the biggest enrolment burden during 2023 transition from primary to secondary schools.
Nakuru, Kakamega, Bungoma, Nairobi, Homa Bay, Narok, Kisumu, Busia, Meru, Kitui, Siaya and Trans Nzoia counties are those that will witness the highest enrolment of secondary school students against their limited classroom capacities.
By Jane Ngugi and David Opingo