All public schools are set to receive free desks from a government desk manufacture project which will cost taxpayers Sh1.96 billion. This is after the government realized that there was an acute shortage of desks in the public schools.
According to Education Cabinet Secretary, George Magoha, Sub-County Education Director in conjunction with the area Deputy County Commissioners will coordinate the project and award tenders to the suitably qualified local artisans.
Prototype desks would be displayed at all the Sub-County headquarters for the artisans to see to enable them manufacture the same ones for onward distribution to schools next year, 2021.
No Room for Chicanery in Supply of Desks
National government administrators and field officers have, at the same time, been directed to follow through all aspects of the supply of desks, lockers and chairs to public schools preparatory to resumption of onsite learning in the country.
Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof. George Magoha, has said the government has instituted various risk mitigation strategies to prevent corruption in the project, adding that he will lead inspection tours to ensure the furniture is supplied according to the delivery terms.
“This is not the time to ask ‘what’s in it for me?’ We are doing this for our children. As far as this project is concerned, there is nothing we cannot address. If there are bottlenecks, talk to us directly – not the usual bureaucratic practices,” he said while issuing the guidelines for the implementation of the project to County Commissioners at the KICC.
Kshs.1.9 billion has been allocated under the Economic Stimulus Programme for this programme, which targets SMEs and local artisans. To ensure openness, transparency and non-discrimination in identification of the suppliers, the government has deployed the model that was used to identify the beneficiaries of the COVID-19 weekly stipend, the Kazi Mtaani Initiative, and Older Persons Cash Transfer.
Interior PS, Dr. Karanja Kibicho, expressed his confidence in National Government Administration Officers (NGAOs) and urged them to exercise enforcement discretion against anyone threatening the integrity of the process.
With the presumption that the majority of the prospective suppliers may not have the capacity to deliver on such a project, the government will fund them with up to 50 percent front load.
Dr. Kibicho said, “This is another reason we need national government administrators. It is their responsibility to ensure there is integrity and transparency in this project; it is their responsibility to ensure that anybody who has been contracted delivers these furniture within the timelines set.”
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The plan will realize the delivery of 622,357 desks, lockers, and chairs to public primary and secondary schools, with every ward expected to produce at least one school. Design prototypes and technical specifications have been availed to all County Commissioners, Deputy County Commissioners and County Directors of Education.
The Deputy County Commissioners will lead their teams in confirming the quality of the furniture and compliance with the specifications with the prototypes and ensure proper labeling before delivery to schools.