Magoha: No extra cash for CBC classroom contractors

George Magoha

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha (left) plants a tree at Parklands Arya Girls Secondary School in Nairobi on February 14, 2022 when he commissioned a CBC classroom.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo I Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • All classrooms should be completed by end of February, Education Cabinet Secretary says. 
  • Some contractors want the government to pay them Sh1.26 million per classroom.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has dismissed calls to increase payment for the construction of 5,000 classrooms meant to expand infrastructure in schools in readiness for the rollout of junior secondary in January 2023.

Prof Magoha said the Sh788,000 for the construction of one classroom was set after factoring in the contractors’ profit. 

Some contractors have asked the government to pay them Sh1.26 million per classroom, citing high construction expenses.

“People thought that somehow the money will be increased. The people who don’t want to do so should step aside and we get others. There are so many people who can build. It (project) was not meant for the big contractors,” the CS said.

He was speaking at Parklands Arya Girls High School in Nairobi where he commissioned a classroom and announced that contractors who had completed their work had been paid. 

Completion rate

The first phase of the project will cost the Ministry of Education Sh3.2 billion. The government plans to spend a total of Sh16 billion to put up new classrooms in secondary schools by July 2025.

The CS said all classrooms are meant to be completed by the end of this month although the buildings should be handed over by March 7.

“Come March 7, we don’t want contractors in our schools because we don’t trust anyone with our children when they are doing examinations,” said Prof Magoha.

He revealed that North Eastern region was leading in the rate of completion, with Garissa County having delivered 93 per cent of its allocated classrooms. It is followed by Mandera County at 81 per cent and Wajir at 77 per cent. He put the national completion rate at 66 per cent.

Last week, members of the National Assembly Education committee demanded to know how the classrooms were distributed, saying some deserving schools had been left out while well-established institutions had been allocated the classrooms.

Early Learning and Basic Education Principal Secretary Julius Jwan said the Education ministry had carried out a study that showed the needs of every school and the expected increase in enrolment.

Homosexual students

At the same time, Prof Magoha warned that homosexual students who harass others would be forced to attend day schools. He added that his earlier instructions regarding the learners had been taken out of context.

“If you are a homosexual in a boarding school and you’re hopping from the bed of one student to the other, your rights end there. You can be a good homosexual who doesn’t disturb anybody, you go and do your thing when you’re out of school,” he said.

The CS added that such learners should be admitted to day schools close to their parents. “They turned it around and said that I’m against homosexuals. No! Who has told you to go and disturb another person’s child? Why don’t you wait until you go home, go to the streets and do whatever you want to do?”

Last year when there was a wave of violence in schools, Prof Magoha alleged that some of the cases had a connection to homosexuality and that some learners were protesting against the practice.

Recently, there have been increased allegations of sexual harassment in schools, with rights defenders and some parents from one school in Nairobi holding demonstrations.

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.