Government Plans are under way for the construction of more than 20,000 classrooms to ensure smooth transition from primary to junior secondary school under the competency-based curriculum (CBC).
Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha said yesterday the classrooms will ease congestion due to the 100 per cent transition policy introduced in 2018.
“We aim to improve school infrastructure and plans are ongoing to construct 20,044 classrooms between December and April next year. I also appreciate what the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is doing,” Prof Magoha told the Education parliamentary committee.
This comes amid the many asked questions on the success of the new curriculum by various stakeholders
A committee chaired by Busia Women Representative, yesterday sermoned prof George Magoha to explain why the government has not resolved the infrastructure challenge in schools yet they are pushing for the implementation of other things such as the 100 percent transition.
Many schools have had to look for alternative ways such as learning in tents and under trees to ensure the increased number of students are all accommodated.
According to Magoha, the ministry has been disbursing infrastructure funds to schools each term to boost facilities as the new curriculum takes shape.
“As the CBC class prepares to proceed to junior secondary, the government is making all plans to expand schools,” he said.
Earlier on, questions have been raised by some of the MPs on the criteria used by the ministry to disburse the funds to secondary schools
Prof Magoha said the funds channeled to each institution and the total number of schools that benefit depends on budgetary allocations.
The infrastructure challenge has been a topic of discussion for a long time now, especially by those who did not welcome the CBC terming it as a government project.
Samburu East MP Jackson Lentoi said when improving infrastructure and distributing desks, the ministry should consider accessing needy cases first because not all schools require extra desks or chairs.
“Most primary schools in Samburu for example, do not have enough desks. Pupils have to sit on the floor and under trees. In other places, the desks supplied to secondary schools are not being used,” Said Lento.
Magoha on the other hand clarified that any school that needs additional funding for infrastructure such as classrooms is required to apply for grants adding that needs assessment and quality assessment recommendations by officials form a basis for such grants.
The CS said that the distribution of 622,357 desks, lockers, and chairs to be supplied to public primary and secondary schools under the economic stimulus program was a success, and they are planning to continue doing the same.
Basic Education Principal Secretary Dr. Julius Jwan said headteachers raised a concern on the new pattern of pushing parents to purchase school uniforms and mattresses from specific suppliers to impose extra charges on them
He termed this as exploitation and warned that the government will take action against those colluding with specific suppliers to exploit parents.
“The Basic Education Regulations, 2015 prohibit any institution from prescribing a specific supplier of school uniforms or any other materials for the parent or guardian,” said Jwan.