The government has identified a lack of desks, lockers and chairs as the greatest limitation in enabling social distancing ahead of school reopening. The Ministry of Education invited local Juakali artisans to apply for the tender to supply over 622,000 desks.
Professor MAgoha extended the registration deadline of artisans interested in manufacturing desks, lockers and chairs for primary and secondary school students up to Friday next week. This is to enable that more workshops are registered.
The Education Cabinet Secretary assured the country that the officers are in place to ensure that corruption does not play any role in the registration of these artisans.
Designed prototypes of the desks will be available at the County Commissioner Director’s offices. The Ministry of Education in partnership with the Ministry of Interior through their grassroots structures have adopted a model similar to the government’s Kazi Mtaani Initiative to identify and pay qualified suppliers.
On the other side, critics of how the government is doing this project have emerged from both artisans, school heads and other citizens. Some artisans complained of being sidelined in getting the tenders.
According to one furniture supplier Daniel Munene, the government had a good idea but failed in doing a proper process as they hurriedly moved on with the project without consulting widely.
The new prototypes desks will eliminate the old sitting arrangements in primary schools where four or five pupils would share a desk. Secondary schools will retain its normal type of desks however social distancing will have to be considered.
President Magoha on Friday asked teachers to prepare to go back to schools as the corona-virus curve continues to flatten. Magoha said that schools may reopen earlier and the revised dates for reopening would be announced after a mega stakeholders meeting this month.
Health experts had warned that reopening without observing health protocols could lead to dire consequences in the fight against Corona-virus.