The Murang’a County Development Implementation and Coordination Committee (CDICC) has directed school head teachers to purchase mobile phones for official use by their schools.
The committee that is Chaired by the County Commissioner (CC), Mohammed Barre, observed that there has been communication breakdown between schools and various stakeholders due to lack of reliable mobile phone numbers for the schools.
Since there are hardly any schools with a fixed telephone line, commonly referred to as land line, the committee said that it was imperative that school heads purchase a phone and register it for their school.
Currently, most school heads use their personal mobile phones for official communication, hence disruption of communication whenever they were transferred to other schools.
The issue had come about as a result of huge electricity bills owed to Kenya Power by primary schools. Some schools that had earlier been disconnected from power by the company had complained of having not received the bills on time.
The Kenya Power County Business Manager, Eng. Harrison Kamau, said that it would be easy and convenient for the company to send timely electricity bills to schools through the mobile phone.
The committee tasked the County Director of Education to ensure that the schools purchase the phones by the end of May, arguing that a basic mobile phone would not cost a school more than Sh.1, 000.
It has emerged that many schools in the county had accumulated power bills and were blaming the power company for not sending the bills to them on time. Sending the bills via the mobile phone would thus seal the loophole and ensure that power services went on uninterrupted.
Power disconnection has been cited as one of the factors that were hindering smooth implementation of the Digital Literacy Program (DLP) in the county. Schools within the county owe Kenya Power Sh.3.6 as unpaid cumulative bills with some schools owing up to Sh.70, 000.
Eng. Kamau said that the affected schools earlier have now been reconnected awaiting payment of the bills by the Ministry of Education.
While t he money sent by government for Free Primary Education includes money for payment of utilities such as electricity, the funds are said not to be inadequate to cater for the needs of many schools, an issue that the committee recommended for evaluation by the Ministry of Education.
The County Development Implementation and Coordination Committees were formed by the Executive Order no. 1 of 2019 to coordinate and monitor the implementation of National Government programs and projects and identify solutions for bottlenecks that hinder implementation of such projects at the county level.
By Judith Thuo