Africa-Press – Kenya. The move to retain Grade 6 learners in primary schools will cost the government more than Sh160 billion. President William Ruto directed that each primary school is added an extra classroom and laboratory.
For primary schools neighbouring secondary schools, the cost of building laboratories could be relieved from them. According to some school contractors, the government spends around Sh5 million to build and fully equip one laboratory.
“Setting up the four walls with nothing inside is around Sh1.2 million,” the contractor said.
A number of items are required to fully equip a functional laboratory to be used for biology, physics, or chemistry. Currently, we have more than 24,000 public primary schools.
This means the government would spend around Sh120bn to build labs for all the 24,000 schools. But setting aside schools that neighbour secondary schools could bring the number to around 19,000 primary schools.
This, then reduces the cost to Sh95 million. However, building classrooms for the schools would cost Sh24 billion. In president Uhuru Kenyatta’s regime, classroom construction cost between Sh788,000-Sh1.26 million per unit.
A standard figure of Sh1 million would then mean that the government will spend Sh24 billion on classroom construction. The state has asked members of Parliament to use CDF money to help construct and provide extra facilities for learners during the transition.
And because of the anticipated congestion and scarcity of learning resources, the government directed that primary schools will have to share laboratory resources with secondary schools adjacent to them.
The government will also hire 30,000 teachers next month to address shortages. The new teachers, including the existing ones who will teach Grade 7 learners, will undergo training to retool them for equipping the pupils.
The state has directed the Ministry of Education, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development and the Teachers Service Commission to “work on modalities of fast-tracking retooling teachers to ensure the country has sufficient numbers who are compliant with CBC.”
“Priority will be given to those teachers who will be handling Grade 7 learners.” The learners who are on holiday will report back to school starting January 28.