Only about 55 percent of the desks which were ordered by the government under the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) in Murang’a have been delivered to various schools.
The progress in delivery of the desks has been slow owing to delay in payment to artisans contracted by government to help increase the number of desks to schools as a way of controlling spread of covid-19 among learners ahead of schools reopening.
The County Director of Education Ms Anne Kiilu, while speaking to KNA on Thursday said all the desks are expected to be delivered to schools within the first week of reopening of schools on January 4.
She said the artisans awarded the tender of making the desks have been receiving their payments since the first week of December.
“By December 17, we have received 30 percent of desks for primary schools and another 25 percent for secondary schools. In each of the eight sub counties, we have selected 15 schools both in secondary and primary schools to benefit from the desks under the ESP,” added Kiilu.
She explained that some of the artisans have competed making the desks they were allocated but agreed that some faced financial challenges leading to the delay.
“From the beginning the artisans were to receive down payment but delay by the government in releasing the funds forced some artisans to fail to do the work in time while others abandoned the work altogether,” she further said.
The selected primary schools in the county were earmarked to benefit with 8, 400 desks while secondary schools were slated to get 1, 602.
Once all the desks are delivered, Kiilu noted, the schools will ensure there is the needed social distance among learners as required by the Ministry of Health to contain spread of coronavirus.
“We are thinking of giving more work to artisans who completed their work for making the desks,” she further averred.
Meanwhile the director observed that many schools in the county have met requirements stipulated by the ministry of health pertaining measures to avoid spread of Covid-19.
“Majority of our schools have met the ministry of health requirements. They are ready to admit learners come January 4. The big challenge will be observation of social distance and we have instructed teachers to take necessary precautions to avoid a spike of the disease among students,” the noted.
Some schools, she said, have tap water connected by local water companies and others have harvested rain water stating that few of schools have boreholes.
“To many schools in this county don’t face water challenges. Schools without tap water or boreholes are advised to take measures on how to avail water for learners. The school administrations are also directed to ensure there is liquid soap for learners to wash their hands.” Noted the Director.
All learning institutions in the country are expected to resume for the second term on January 4 with concerns raised on how schools, especially those with high population are prepared to ensure ministry of health protocols on covid-19 will be effectively adhered to by the learners.