KNUT Seeks Govt Support To Have Mobile Labs in Schools
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) is now asking the government to finance the creation of mobile laboratories in schools.
Macharia Mugwe, the executive secretary of the Nairobi Chapter of the Kenya National Union of Teachers, said that the labs are affordable.
The mobile laboratories acquired by the School Equipment Production Unit (SEPU ) cost around Sh200,000.
Mugwe recommended that SEPU partner with primary schools in Nairobi to establish laboratories to facilitate CBC learning.
When the Presidential Working Group on Education Reform visited the University of Nairobi to collect opinions, the unionist spoke.
“They even have mobile laboratories which are relatively cheap. The government should be able to finance this,” Mugwe said.
The mobile laboratory can conduct experiments for students in Forms 1 to 4.
In junior secondary, students can utilize the laboratory in grades 7, 8, and 9.
According to Sepu CEO Joel Mabonga, the mobile lab provides an alternate facility for overcrowded secondary schools.
He said that Sepu is ready to acquire more mobile labs if the government allows people to use them.
“Of course, we can’t make many pieces, but we can contract other institutions to do the other pieces,” Mabonga said.
The white, wooden mobile laboratory has a gas system and a 13-kilogram gas cylinder.
The gas is held in a chamber at the bottom. On the side, there is a chest of drawers and storage cupboards.
A black acid-resistant sink empties into a black jerrican on one side of the laboratory.
The water entering the faucet is obtained from a black rack-mounted water supply tank.
The laboratory features power outlets, supply cables, and an illuminating bulb for physics projects.
The mobility of the MB greatly enhances its usefulness.
It has four wheels that make it easy to move. Once a teacher starts working on a project, the wheels are easy to lock.
Once the wheels have been secured, they will be locked to protect the students.
The mobile laboratory features a fire extinguisher in one of its compartments in the event of a fire.
If one mobile lab costs approximately Sh200,000, a school will require about eight, totaling Sh1.6 million.
Currently, Sh5 million is spent to establish and outfit a laboratory.
For the three science topics, a school requires approximately three labs; hence, Sh15 million is spent on labs.
Recently, the government has been pushing for students to take science, technology, engineering, and math courses.
However, this has proven difficult in schools that lack laboratories. Consequently, the School Equipment and Production Unit offers a solution to schools that lack a laboratory.