By Michael Oduor
103 Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) classrooms in Rift Valley region have so far been completed and are ready for commissioning.
Rift Valley Regional Director of Education, Mr. Jared Obiero made the revelations, adding that the Government projects to deliver at least 1,737 new classrooms in the region by the end of the year to enable the rollout of Junior Secondary School.
According to Obiero, companies awarded contracts to put up the new classrooms have until March this year to complete the work.
“Companies awarded contracts to build new classrooms have until March to complete the work. No contractor will be allowed in schools after the deadline as the students will be sitting for national examinations,” he added.
Speaking at Nakuru Plenary Hall during a meeting of heads of departments and state agencies chaired by Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Maalim Mohammed, Mr. Obiero disclosed that Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination is ready to be conducted next month.
He assured candidates and parents that the government has put in place adequate measures to ensure registered candidates sit the KCPE examinations without any problem.
Nakuru County was allocated 541 CBC classrooms at a cost of Sh426.3 million.
“Contractors whose tenders were approved by evaluation committees at Sub-County level are constructing the classrooms in 322 selected secondary schools in Nakuru to provide the additional learning space required for the over 54,000 new students set to join junior secondary within the devolved unit,” Obiero stated.
Further, he said the building of the classrooms, each at a projected cost of Sh788,000 is being done by contractors based near the schools and the money is being dispatched directly to the contractors in their respective sub-counties.
“We have reduced the price of each classroom from Sh1.26 million to Sh788,000 including taxes. This initiative is tapping into the skilled manpower within the counties, empowering locals with enhanced economic opportunities,” he added.
He assured contractors of their payments once the work is presented in good standards with the right paperwork.
According to the education calendar, the 2021 KCPE exam will be done between March 7 and 10, while KCSE will commence between March 11 and April 1.
On his part, the Regional commissioner also asked contractors to ensure the quality of work is per the standards set.
Maalim directed state officers and tender evaluation committees to ensure the process was being carried out in strict adherence to the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act 2015.
He added that his office was and is keenly monitoring the CBC classrooms project to guarantee the quality of work and that the process was free from bribery, conflict of interest or political favoritism.
The Regional Commissioner said construction of the classrooms by contractors based near the schools gives ownership of the projects and accountability.
Countrywide construction of 6,470 CBC classrooms is ongoing in the first phase of the project. The second phase of construction of CBC classrooms is set to start in May after the marking of exams.
Last year, the government had allocated a further Sh4 billion towards infrastructure development in schools which translates to about 5,000 new classrooms.
The total number of Grade Six and Standard Eight learners expected to join secondary school will be about 2,571,044.