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Turkana Schools Get Desks 

Primary schools in Turkana county will receive 7,140 desks and secondary schools 3,100 lockers and chairs under the economic stimulus programme that seeks to achieve social distancing in schools during the Covid-19 pandemic, Turkana County commissioner Muthama Wambua has said.

Nationally, 5,254 secondary schools and 5,136 primary schools will benefit from the desks. Each sub county is allocated desks for a minimum of 15 primary schools and 15 secondary schools.

Speaking on Wednesday when he commissioned the county committee and seven sub county committees that will be responsible for the identification of beneficiary schools as well as jua kali artisans that will be awarded tenders to supply the desks, Wambua said the programme targets vulnerable Jua Kali artisans.

The county committee is chaired by the county commissioner. Other members are the county director of education, county teachers’ service commission director, county youth affairs officer and the county information officer.

The sub county committees are chaired by the deputy county commissioner. Other members are the sub county education officers, sub county TSC officer, and at least two other members from state agencies.

“This is an economic stimulus programme that seeks to ensure that needy and vulnerable jua kali artisans benefit from the project and ensure they have money during the Covid 19 pandemic,” said Wambua.

The county commissioner said the artisans who win the tenders will be paid 50 percent upfront and their balance will be paid upon completion of the works. The government has engaged safaricom to ensure the money will be paid through mobile money transfer.

According to the quotation documents the artisans will be paid shs 3,800 for the assembly of secondary student locker and chair and Sh 2,500 for the assembly of a primary school one seater desk. This amount applies across the whole country.

County director of education Peter Magiri said all secondary schools will benefit because all sub counties have less than 15 secondary schools.

“Turkana central sub county has 12 secondary schools which is the highest number of secondary schools in the county while Kibish sub county has only one secondary school,” said Magiri.

Benefiting primary schools will receive 50 desks per school and secondary schools will receive 70 desks because the extra desks will be shared equally across the schools so that each school will get 70 lockers and chairs.

Magiri said the criteria for identifying benefitting primary schools will include the population of the school because the whole idea is to achieve social distance. It will also include economic vulnerability of the schools and also the challenges the schools are experiencing in terms of the parents’ vulnerability.

By Peter Gitonga

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