Desks tender out ahead of schools re-opening itinerary

Tuesday, September 15th, 2020 22:27 |
Education Principal secretary Belio Kipsang.

The government will this morning start procuring locally assembled desks and chairs for schools ahead of the anticipated resumption of learning.

Interested Jua Kali workshops, artisans and small and micro-enterprises involved in carpentry at the sub-county level have until Thursday to register for the business using prescribed forms.

Education Principal Secretary Dr Belio Kipsang’ said that duly filled forms are to be returned to the ministry by September 17.

“The local Jua Kali sector at the sub-county level will be involved in production and supply of desks to schools.

Design prototypes will be available at the county commissioners, county directors of education and their sub-county offices,” said Kipsang’.

To ensure openness, transparency and fairness in the process, the PS said the Education ministry and that of Interior, through their grassroots offices, will adopt a model similar to the one deployed in the Kazi Mitaani initiative to identify and pay qualifying suppliers.

Application forms are available on the websites of the two ministries or are to be collected from offices of deputy county commissioners and assistant county commissioners countrywide.

Locally assembled desks

The government has allocated Sh1.9 billion under the Economic Stimulus Programme for the supply of locally assembled desks to both public primary and secondary schools.

The revelation came as Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha met education stakeholders yesterday to take stock of the coronavirus trends and discuss possible reopening of learning institutions.

He said the meeting agreed it was time to have another look at the reopening process, premised on declining numbers of coronavirus cases in the last two weeks.

Yesterday, the country recorded 48 new infections from 1,081 samples bringing the country’s caseload to 36,205.

“We have looked at all aspects from universities, tertiary colleges to Tvets, secondary, primary up to pre-primary level and we as stakeholders have come to a consensus that it is indeed time to re-look because doctors has told us the curve is flattening,” said Magoha after the meeting held at Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD).

He said social distancing will remain a challenge but the government was doing its best to ensure availability of masks for the vulnerable and less fortunate children.

During his last national state address on coronavirus, President Uhuru Kenyatta said a stakeholder meeting would be organised by Interior and Health Cabinet Secretaries Dr Fred Matiang’i and Mutahi Kagwe, respectively, in conjunction with the Council of Governors on or before September 25.

The forum will inform the next steps as the country prepares to return to normalcy following a steady decline in Covid-19 infections.

Reactivate committee

Yesterday, Magoha said the stakeholders had agreed to reactivate the Covid-19 committee for the education sector, which will work on the finer details by Saturday and their proposals interrogated by the larger conference next week.

“Even at that time if I succeed getting a backroom approval then I will tell you what we have decided with regards to reopening but if I do not then a decision that will have been made at that point will be taken to the larger stakeholders and then given to the principal (President) who will communicate the decision,” said the CS.

He dismissed previous reports on possible reopening of schools, saying at the moment he is the Ministry of Education’s spokesperson.

“All that has been reported are your opinions, there is only one bona fide spokesperson for Ministry of Education and that person for the time being is the CS who happens to be my most humble self so when you quote senior officials in the ministry those are yours,” stated Magoha.

“Remember I have not told you any decision because the process is ongoing, ignore what other people are saying because my members are very disciplined.”

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