Contractors scramble for slots for constructing classrooms in Nyeri Central

A total 100 contractors from Nyeri Central have applied for tenders to construct classrooms under the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) Infrastructure Development Programme.

The government had requested interested and qualified individuals and contractors to fill and submit bid documents between November 22 and December 6 this year.

The process of bid evaluation will commence on December 7.

 In Nyeri Central alone, the State intends to construct 15 new classrooms in selected secondary schools to help address the expected influx of students later next year as the learning institutions prepare to admit students to the junior secondary school in 2023.

Nyeri Central Deputy County Commissioner Joseph Mwangi told a multiagency taskforce mandated to oversee the implementation of the program, they hope to embark on evaluation of tender documents early next week before selecting the successful bidder.

He also cited the high number of bidders for the lucrative contracts but was quick to report that the team will work out modalities in ensuring fairness in the award of the limited contracts.

Nevertheless, Mwangi said among considerations the committee will be looking into is the proximity of individual contractors to the school where the classes will be put up. The administrator said the team will ensure local contractors are given priority in the multimillion shilling opportunity as spelled out in the specifications by the Ministry of Education guidelines.

“We are working as a multi agency team on this programme and we hope to do so till the completion of the task ahead by April next year. Let us therefore endeavour to deliver on this noble mandate as outlined in the specifications contained in the document,” he told the subcounty Competency Based Curriculum Committee Tuesday.

The government plans to construct a total 199 new classrooms in Nyeri as the country prepares to admit the first batch of students into junior secondary school in 2023.

Overall, the State has set aside Sh8 billion to help put up a total 11,600 classrooms across the country as the nation shifts from the 8-4-4 system to the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).

Early last month Nyeri County Commissioner Loyford Kibaara, while addressing an education stakeholders meeting at the Giakanja Boys Secondary School said the government had already laid down modalities for the construction of the classes including the process of awarding of tenders.

Kibaara also took the participants through the Competency Based Curriculum Infrastructure Development Program that among others encourages the awarding of contracts to prioritize qualified local contractors.

“We are not relying on prequalified contractors but on local contractors who have been working in the rural areas,” he told the members.

“Therefore, as long as someone demonstrates that he can produce quality work, he will be considered for the job,” he assured.

Construction of the classes is expected to kick off in January and end in April next year.

Those who intend to apply for the tenders are expected to among others have a proven track record in the scope of work   and besides being in possession of basic requirements such as full-day contact and registered Mpesa accounts.

The onus of identifying contractors and monitoring of the construction works has been given to the Deputy County Commissioners and chiefs who are expected to ensure there is seamless performance.

 The county boss also warned against politicization of the programme and insisted that the identification of schools that will benefit from the classes has been undertaken on a need assessment basis.

Nyeri County Director of Education Sabina Aroni has said the crux of the entire programme will be at the sub county level where the majority of the classes will be located.

She has therefore urged sub county directors of education to work closely with local administrators and the local leaders to identify those who can be entrusted in providing the necessary skills for the work.

 Aroni said those who win the tenders must be ready to work within the given timeline of 12 weeks.

“There is no room for error. The period of implementation is from January to April next year and the price is already determined. Contractors must therefore agree to complete the work at the recommended price and time,” she said.

 During this year’s Mashujaa celebrations, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced plans by his administration to construct more than 10,000 classrooms ahead of the transition of learners from primary to junior secondary school.

Uhuru also directed the National Treasury to make available Sh8.1 billion for the project to support the primary to secondary school shift in the Competence-Based Curriculum (CBC).

“Ministry of Education, jointly with the Ministry of Interior and the National Treasury, shall establish a framework for the construction of the over 10,000 classrooms needed to provide the additional learning space required for the one million new students set to join junior secondary,” the Head of State said in his Mashujaa Day speech.

In 2023, CBC pioneer learners are expected to join junior secondary school after sitting the Grade Six national examinations, while the present Class Seven learners under the old 8-4-4 system will join Form One after sitting KCPE examinations.

        At least   2,571,044   Grade Six and Standard Eight learners are expected to join secondary school after next year.

  

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