Schools will have to wait longer before they can receive the locally assembled desks worth Sh1.9 billion, it has emerged. People Daily has established the process of assembling the desks was behind schedule and schools may have to wait up to the end of this month before deliveries commence. The government had initially set yesterday as the last day for delivering the desks to the learning institutions. The Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (KESSHA) Kahi Indimuli told People Daily no school had received desks as at yesterday, though hinting that the distribution may commence next week. He also urged the government to give a clear explanation to the country on the extent of support it is giving to public schools with boarding sections following the resumption of learning last week. According to Indimuli, many parents are yet to pay fees for children in boarding schools, putting the learning institutions in serious financial difficulties. \u201cAcross the country no school has received the desks. The process was being supervised by the sub-county education office and central Government and the schools they identified in every sub-county are yet to get the desks,\u201d Indimuli said. \u201cThey probably might have been overwhelmed by the high number of desks required but we are optimistic that from next week, distribution will commence in areas where they are ready and that is what we will wait for,\u201d he added. This came as some of the county officials overseeing the production process said that as much as the work has kicked off, local artisans are yet to receive the 50 per cent up-front payment promised by the Government. The officials, however, revealed the monies may be released by end of this week to enable the qualified artisans to commence assembling of the desks. The government set aside Sh1.9 billion under the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP) for the supply of the locally assembled furniture to public primary and secondary schools countrywide. Comprehensive inspection \u201cDesks were to be produced under ESP, which was meant to cushion local artisans from adverse effects of Covid-19. The qualifying artisans were thus to be given 50 per cent upfront to help them recover but they have been assured of the money before the end of this week,\u201d the official said.\u00a0 He said due process was followed, which started at the sub-county level. First, a committee was formed comprising the sub-county education office, Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Director, DCI officials and chaired by Deputy County Commissioners. The team conducted a comprehensive inspection of schools that are in dire need for desks\u2019 support in every ward. Similarly, the committee inspected workshops, shortlisted and prequalified those with the capacity to do the work. Afterwards, the qualifying artisans were issued with letters of award to do the work. \u201cFor purposes of financing, artisans\u2019 details were collected and verified by last week and the release of the 50 per cent upfront pay may be released by the end of this week,\u201d Indimuli added. Once they receive the money, artisans will be expected to finish the work, which includes branding of desks. Reports also indicated some artisans could not access the materials required to assemble the desks because they are too expensive. They were forced to petition their respective county committees to allow them use another quality material accessible in their respective areas of work. Although the Ministry of Education is the procuring entity, the Principal Secretary has delegated the mandate to sub-county Directors of Education. The ESP programme is to deliver 622,257 desks to 5,254 secondary and 5,136 primary schools across the country. \u201cFollowing an extensive market survey, the cost per desk has been fixed at Sh2,500 for primary school and at Sh3,800 for secondary schools for each locker and chair,\u201d President Uhuru Kenyatta announced last month. Primary schools are to receive 360,000 desks worth Sh900 million, while secondary schools will receive 263,157 lockers and chairs at a total cost of Sh1 billion. Similar model Each identified primary school was to receive 70 desks while each secondary school will receive 50 lockers and chairs. \u201cI have directed Ministries of Interior and Education to work together in identification of these local \u2018juakali\u2019 workshops in each sub-county across the country. In doing so, they will adopt a model similar to the one deployed in the Kazi Mtaani Initiative to identify and pay qualifying \u2018juakali\u2019 workshops,\u201d said the President. At the same time, Indimuli said teachers are doing their best to protect learners who have already resumed, noting boarding fee will go a long way towards critical expenditures such as purchase of food. He regretted that some parents had sent their children back to school without any school fees. \u00a0\u201cSome parents are saying the government assured that no child will be sent home over school fees and that is the genesis of our problem. We urge parents to pay part of the fees for us to be able to take care of their children better and then make arrangements with the head teachers on how to clear the balances,\u201d Indimuli urged. \u00a0 \u201cGoing forward, we will have to consult with parents and school management and see how to improve on school infrastructure as opposed to waiting for the Government to do all the work\u2026 the Government cannot do it alone,\u201d he added. Yesterday marked exactly a week since Grade Four, Standard Eight and Form Four classes resumed, with a majority of them struggling with the infrastructure challenges.