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Gov’t to construct 199 new classrooms

The government will construct a total of 199 new classrooms in Nyeri as the country prepares to admit the first batch of students into junior secondary school in 2023.

Overall, the State has set aside Sh8 billion to help put up a total of 11,600 classrooms across the country as the nation shifts from the 8-4-4 system to the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC).

While addressing educational stakeholders at the Giakanja Boys Secondary School, Nyeri County Commissioner, Layford Kibaara, said the government has already laid down modalities for the construction of the classes including the process of awarding of tenders to those interested.

Kibaara also took the participants through the Competency Based Curriculum Infrastructure Development Programme that among others, encourages the awarding of contracts to prioritize qualified local contractors.

“We are not relying on prequalified contractors but on local contractors who have been working in the rural areas,” he told the members. “Therefore, as long as someone demonstrates that he can produce quality work, he will be considered for the job,” he assured.

Construction of the classes is expected to kick off in January and end in April next year.

Those who intend to apply for the tenders are expected to among others have a proven track record in the scope of work and besides being in possession of basic requirements such as full-day contact and registered Mpesa accounts.

“Payment for the work will be through the electronic format to seal loopholes for loss of funds. However, this will only be possible after the assessment committee is fully satisfied that the work has been done as per the specified standards,” he said.

The onus of identifying contractors and monitoring of the construction for the classes has been given to the Deputy County Commissioners and chiefs who are expected to ensure there is seamless performance.

The county boss has also warned on politicization of the programme and insisted that the identification of schools that will benefit from the classes has been undertaken on a need assessment basis.

Nyeri County Director of Education, Sabina Aroni, said the crux of the entire programme would be at the sub county level where the majority of the classes would be located.

She therefore urged sub county directors of education to work closely with local administrators and the local leaders to identify those who can be entrusted in providing the necessary skills for the work.

Aroni said those who win the tenders must be ready to work within the given timeline besides four months.

“There is no room for error. The period of implementation is from January to April next year and the price is already determined. Contractors must therefore agree to complete the work at the recommended price and time,” she said.

During this year’s Mashujaa celebrations, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced plans by his administration to construct more than 10,000 classrooms ahead of the transition of learners from primary to junior secondary school.

Uhuru also 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).

“Ministry of Education, jointly with the Ministry of Interior and the National Treasury, shall establish a framework for the construction of the over 10,000 classrooms needed to provide the additional learning space required for the one million new students set to join junior secondary,” said the Head of State in his Mashujaa Day speech.

In 2023 that year, CBC pioneer learners are expected to join junior secondary school after sitting the Grade Six National Examinations, while the present Class Seven learners under the old 8-4-4 system will join Form One after sitting KCPE examinations.

At least 2,571,044, Grade Six and Standard Eight learners are expected to join secondary after next year.

By Samuel Maina

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