Sagamian High School

The Narok South security committee inspects construction of a junior secondary school classroom at Sagamian High School on January 11, 2022. The government is rushing to complete the first phase of the classrooms project across the country.

| George Sayagie | Nation Media Group

Govt racing against time to complete junior high classrooms

What you need to know:

  • Newly established junior secondary under the competency-based curriculum will be rolled out next year.
  • The ministries of Education and Interior are working to ensure first phase is completed by April.

The government is racing against time to finish building more than 10,000 classrooms in selected secondary schools across the country ahead of the junior secondary roll-out next year.

On Wednesday, Education Cabinet secretary George Magoha was in Nyeri and Kirinyaga counties to assess the progress.

The CS has been going around the country since late December, checking on the projects, as the government works to meet the April deadline for the completion of the first 5,000 classrooms.

“In Kilifi, Keiyo North, Nandi and Siaya, construction of all the classrooms has started. Tomorrow, I will commission the first class that has already been completed in Siaya,” said Prof Magoha.

A spot check by the Nation in various regions established that foundations have been laid and construction is going on. 

In Kisumu, County Director of Education Isaac Atebe said construction of the classrooms in 152 schools had begun. In the first phase of the project, one classroom will be built in each of the schools.

“Some are at the foundation stage, others we are laying the slabs while others are starting to do the walls of the classrooms,” said Mr Atebe.

Lions High School principal Peninnah Omollo said ground breaking had been done and the materials were on site in preparation for construction.

In Homa Bay County, 254 classrooms will be built in 240 schools at a cost of Sh200 million. County Commissioner Moses Lilan led the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of two classrooms at Homa Bay Boys High School on Monday last week.

“The projects will run in accordance with the government’s timeline. Construction of all classrooms will be completed and handed over by April,” he said.

CBC infrastructure

In Busia County, 141 secondary schools were identified for construction of the classrooms. County Director of Education Thaddeus Awuor said the project was being undertaken by a multi-agency team from the Ministry of Education, Interior and Public Works.

Kakamega County will have 597 new classrooms spread out in 353 secondary schools to accommodate 93,703 learners.

The construction of the 232 new classrooms in Vihiga County began after Christmas. County Commissioner Ochilo Oyugi said the new classrooms will cost the government Sh180 million. 

A total of 137 secondary schools in the county are benefiting from the programme.

At Chavakali Boys, Principal John Kuira said three classrooms are being constructed under the programme and are expected to be ready in March.

Nyang’ori Boys Principal Ibrahim Kugo said construction of the first classroom is already under way, with plans to cast the slab from Tuesday.

In Migori County, Sh159 million will be used to construct 205 classrooms in the first phase of the CBC infrastructure development programme. County Commissioner Meru Mwangi said the projects would be ready by April.

“The contractors are under strict instructions to deliver good classrooms for immediate use by junior secondary school students,” Mr Mwangi said during the launch of the project in December.

Embu County Director of Education James Kariuki said construction of classrooms in 151 schools started late last year. The devolved unit requires 158 new classrooms to accommodate the learners.

Mr Kariuki said the Education ministry is working hard to ensure that the classrooms are completed within the stipulated time frame.

“In the first phase of the project, Embu was allocated 158 classrooms which are already under construction,” he said.

New classrooms

In Nyeri County, 168 classrooms will be constructed in the first phase, targeting 167 out of the 220 secondary schools in the devolved unit.

County Director of Education Sabina Aroni said one classroom would be built in 166 schools, while two would be built in Tumutumu Girls School because of its high population.

In the Rift Valley region, schools are struggling to beat the April deadline. In most counties, contractors have been identified and have already started construction.

The construction of 541 classrooms for 54,000 new students expected to join junior secondary in Nakuru is on course.

A spot check by the Nation of the institutions in Nakuru Town East and Bahati revealed that in most schools, the construction is quickly taking shape.

County Director of Education Fredrick Osewe said that the government intends to use Sh426.3 million to build the classrooms.

“The construction is on course, we already established a framework for the construction of the classrooms to provide adequate learning space. About 322 secondary schools will benefit,” said Mr Osewe.

Of the selected schools, 53 of them from Nakuru’s 11 sub-counties, will each get at least three new classrooms, while 105 will get two each, and 160 others will each have one new classroom.

In Narok County, the government will spend Sh137 million to build 174 new classrooms.

County Commissioner Evans Achoki said the project started two weeks ago, and that a total of 127 schools would benefit from the project. 

April deadline

Secondary schools with a big population will get three new classrooms while those with fewer students will get only one.

County Director of Education Jane Njogu asked school heads and the boards of governors to cooperate in pointing out the best sites to build the classrooms.

In Samburu County, the government is building 35 new classrooms. County Commissioner Abdirizack Jaldesa said local contractors who won the tenders for the CBC infrastructural programme are working within the time frame and “already two classrooms are complete”.

He said 22 classrooms will be built in Samburu Central, five in Samburu North and eight in Samburu East in the first phase at a cost of over Sh27.5 million.

Laikipia County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri called on the contractors who were awarded tenders to build the Sh120 million classrooms to finish the work within the stipulated time to ensure smooth transition for the students.

In the neighbouring Nyandarua County, contractors are in a rush to mobilise resources in a bid to beat the April deadline.

A spot check by the Nation of schools in Nyandarua North and Central sub-counties revealed that most contractors had hit the ground running to deliver the classrooms.

Nyandarua Central sub-county Director of Education Bernard Kinuthia said most contractors had started delivering construction materials to the sites.

“We were able to hand over all the sites by the end of last month and now the contractors have started digging the foundations in Manyatta, Rurii, Kaimbaga and Kieni Secondary schools,” said Mr Kinuthia.

The Nation has learnt that the ministries of Education and Interior are working jointly to deliver the promise made by President Uhuru Kenyatta during the Mashujaa Day celebrations in Kirinyaga County.

Reporting by Derick Luvega, Elizabeth Ojina, Shaban Makokha, George Odiwuor, Ian Byron, George Munene, Reginah Kinogu, Eric Matara, George Sayagie, Geoffrey Ondieki, Steve Njuguna and Waikwa Maina