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World Bank gives 30 counties sh20billion for school infrastructure

At least 7,852 primary and 2,147 secondary schools in 30 counties will benefit from Sh20 billion under the Secondary Education Quality Improvement Project (SEQIP) funded by the World Bank through the Ministry of Education to improve infrastructure in learning institutions.

Through the programme, 1,843 toilet blocks in 1,783 primary, 962 classrooms in 561 secondary schools and 859 laboratories in 785 secondary schools will be constructed in 110 marginalized sub counties across the country.

“The programme aims to improve student learning in secondary education and transition from primary to secondary education in 110 targeted sub counties spread in 30 counties nationally,” said an Assistant Director of Education (ADE) Beth Kitoo from the Directorate of Projects Coordination and Delivery at the Ministry of Education at Makueni Boys on Tuesday.

Kitoo was addressing 89 principals at Makueni boys who included 32 head teachers of primary and 3 head teachers from Special Needs schools who are beneficiaries of the programme in Makueni County.

During the briefing, the teachers were inducted on their role in the programme.  The construction is expected to commence in 1st June and end in November 2022.

The director disclosed that 82 laboratories, 51 classrooms and 6 classrooms in special needs schools will be constructed by the Parklane Construction Limited that has been awarded the contract in Makueni County.

“The contractor Parklane Construction Limited was awarded through a competitive process. He will take six months to complete the works as per the specifications and designs done by the Heritage Associates Limited who will be supervising the project,” said Kitoo.

Further she noted that officials from the ministry headquarters, county and Sub county teams will undertake periodic monitoring and reporting on the progress of the projects.

“I expect the contractor who is present to follow the specifications and complete the projects within the timelines agreed. No payment will be made without the advice from the supervisor,” said Kitoo.

The sub-counties that have benefitted in Makueni County include Makindu, Nzaui, Kathozweni, Kibwezi and Makueni.

The programme targets 600,000 pupils in upper primary grade 7 and 8 and another 600,000 students in form 1to 4 in secondary schools in the targeted sub-counties in the marginalized areas.

The 6 year project started way back in 2017 and it is expected to end by December 13. 2023. The project also aims at decongesting schools.

The project has four components including improving the quality of teaching, system reform support and project management, coordination and monitoring and evaluation and improving retention in upper primary and transition to secondary in the targeted areas.

The director revealed that that some of this programmes have been done while noting the Elimu scholarship that is part of the project has 18,000 beneficiaries besides provision of text books to schools in the targeted areas.

On his part, Makueni County Commissioner (CC) Mr. Gilbert Kitiyo challenged the principals and head teachers to own the projects in their schools in supporting the contractor to ensure the projects are completed within the timelines.

“The success of these projects depends on the principals and head teachers of the schools. If it fails, then the heads of these institutions have also failed. I urge you to be part and parcel of this programme for it to succeed,” said Kitiyo.

On form one admissions, he warned the principals of secondary schools against sending students home because of fees saying this was hampering government efforts of achieving 100 percent transition from primary to secondary schools in the area.

After the briefing of the principals and head teachers, the contractor was handed over the sites where to construct classrooms and laboratories in Mwaani Girls, Makueni and Mwaani Boys high schools respectively.

By Patrick Nyakundi and William Kitheka

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