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School Heads Denied powers to control Ksh8.1bn budget for Additional classrooms

Secondary school principals have lost purse-string powers in the construction of 11,600 classrooms to help in the double intake of students to secondary school in 2023.

The classes will cost an average of Sh800,000 and construction is projected to be completed by April of 2022.

Phase one will cost Sh8.1 billion, according to the Education ministry.

Unlike the tradition where school heads are provided money for the construction of the classes, the Education ministry has centralised the project and will be responsible for contracting and paying for the construction.

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In the project, regional and county directors of education will be responsible for identifying the contractors and overseeing the construction exercise.

Chiefs, on the other hand, will oversee the construction at the school level.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha on Wednesday said that the funds will directly be wired to the contractors upon completion of the project.

Interior CS Fred Matiang’i has warned chiefs and other administrative officers over possible misappropriation in the construction

Matiang’i was speaking at the Kenya School of Government on Wednesday during the national brief of county teams on building Competency-Based Curriculum classrooms.

The classes are part of the stimulus package announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta during the Mashujaa Day celebration.

However, the cost of the classrooms took the highlight of the exercise with some critics arguing is a bit too little.

However, Magoha and Matiang’i on Wednesday termed the budget appropriate, warning over misappropriation in the construction of the classrooms.

The two highlighted that the cost of constructing classrooms has in the past been highly exaggerated despite constraints of resources to carry out the function.

“I cannot overemphasise the need for cost-effectiveness of the project… It is important to ensure that the money provided is well used without any misappropriation,” Matiang’i said.

He further warned of stern action on those found to misappropriate the project resources.

“I have given you authority (regional and county directors) to interdict or sack a chief who messes around with this project,” Matiang’i said.

Under the project, successful bidders will have to prove the potential of at least half the amount required to complete the project.

For example, if a school will be constructing one classroom, the bidder will need to have at least Sh400,000.

They also will be required to provide evidence of completed projects of similar nature.

The first CBC cohort moves to junior secondary school in 2023. In the first year of the new curriculum in secondary school, the student population of the institutions is expected to double.

This is because of the double intake of the CBC class and the 8-4-4 cohort.

Upon transition, the projected population in secondary school will hit 5.56 million learners.

Secondary schools will also host five classes from the current four.

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