The Ministry of Education is set to construct a total of 421 classrooms in various public secondary schools in Machakos County meant for the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC) Infrastructure Development project.
This follows the Ministry’s move to avail Sh1.2 billion from its infrastructure funds for construction of additional 1,600 classrooms totalling to 11,600 classrooms which fall under phase one of the project that seeks to construct approximately 20,000 classrooms that will accommodate learners in 2023.
Speaking during a county CBC Infrastructure meeting held at the Machakos Deputy County Commissioner’s office, Sub County Director of Education, Mr Simon Mutemi, revealed that Mwala Sub-County will have 78 classrooms constructed while the neighboring Yatta Sub County will benefit from 68 classrooms.
“Masinga Sub County will benefit from 55 classrooms, Matungulu will have 50 classrooms, Machakos town 47, Kathiani will have 39 classrooms. Kalama and Kangundo sub counties will have 31 classrooms each while Athi River will have 22 classrooms,” said Mr Mutemi.
Mr Mutemi noted that each classroom has been allocated approximately Sh778, 000 adding that the Ministry has recommended that the classrooms ought not to be stand-alone structures but can be constructed within an existing structure, slab or foundation so as to cut on costs.
He stated that the process of selecting the contractors will be conducted through restricted competitive bidding where one can apply as a sole proprietor, a partnership or a registered company.
Mr Mutemi pointed out that the applicants ought to submit evidence of financial resources where they should demonstrate that they have access to financial resources independent of any contractual evidence payment sufficient to meet the construction of 50 per cent bid.
“For companies, they should produce their audited financial reports for the last three years and have a minimum average annual construction turnover of Sh3 million,” said Mr Mutemi.
According to the Machakos Ministry of Education record, the county has a total of 374 public secondary schools where only 312 of them will benefit from the CBC classroom construction project.
Speaking during a meeting with parents in Machakos Boys High School recently, Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof George Magoha, said that the government had mapped all schools across the country, which have classroom deficit.
Prof Magoha urged local contractors in Machakos County to take advantage of the Government’s CBC programme and apply for contracts for the construction of classrooms through the coordinating Multi Agency Team.
He said that Phase one of the project seeks to help in ensuring that all the CBC learners that will be transitioning to secondary school in January 2023 will have adequate classrooms.
The Education CS stated the registration exercise that was set to end on November 12, 2021 was free of charge and no one should pay or show any form of financial capability where he directed all chiefs to sensitize the local contractors.
He added that 21 counties had made their positive returns as of Friday 4 November to the Multi Agency Implementation Committee and urged the remaining ones to do so within the stipulated time.
The CS urged all those involved in the programme to show patriotism and play their role to ensure that the classrooms are completed within the set timeline to realize the value for money and maximum benefit for the Kenyan students.
Prof Magoha assured the country that through the programme, the government is out to expand the capacity of all secondary schools to support 100 per cent transition and accommodate all learners in Grade 7 come the year 2023.
The classroom construction is among the many projects that have been set aside to ensure that every learner is comfortable in class.
The Government, through the Ministry of Education, introduced CBC in 2019. In preparation for the smooth transition into junior secondary school in 2023, the government has established the CBC Infrastructure Development Programme to upscale the current infrastructure to accommodate CBC needs in the targeted schools by constructing 11,600 classrooms.
The Multi-Agency Taskforce has been set up to coordinate the implementation of the programme and ensure effective and timely communication of the programme.
By Rachael Kilonzo