The government has failed to meet the October 19 deadline for the delivery of desks, chairs and lockers to public primary and secondary schools.
By Tuesday, no school had received the furniture. It has also emerged that some of the carpenters awarded tenders to supply the desks and lockers withdrew, citing low prices.
The government identified 5,254 secondary and 5,136 primary schools to receive the desks.
The ministry issued the prototypes for the desks, lockers and chairs and made them available at all counties and sub-counties.
The government said it would pay Sh2,500 and Sh3,800 for each primary and secondary school locker and chair, respectively.
However, some carpenters say the cheapest should have been set at Sh5,000 to ensure quality.
Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (Kessha) chairman Kahi Indimuli said schools are yet to receive the furniture. “We are waiting to receive them, but so far, they haven’t been delivered,” Mr Indimuli said.
His primary schools counterpart, Mr Nicholas Gathemia, also said the furniture hasn’t been delivered. “We haven’t seen them,” he told the Nation yesterday.
Several other principals who spoke to the Nation said they had hoped to receive the desks on Monday as promised, but they were not delivered.
Chief Administrative Secretary Zack Kinuthia on Tuesday said the desks would be delivered by the end of the month.
The programme is being spearheaded by county commissioners, sub-county commissioners, chiefs and assistant chiefs.
While meeting with county commissioners, regional and county directors of education at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, Nairobi, in September, Ministry of Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho asked the administrators and education field officers to follow through the supply of the additional desks, lockers and chairs to schools before they reopen.
Mr Kibicho said local administrators would help schools identify competent carpenters to manufacture the desks.
“The county commissioners will be the ones to identify the workshops that can deliver on this project, we expect a transparent process,” said Mr Kibicho in September.
The desks are expected to be made in a special way, allowing social distancing in primary schools while secondary schools will be required to maintain the single locker and chair sitting arrangement.
However, when contacted, Mr Kibicho did not respond to our calls and neither did he reply to our SMS.
The 622,357 desks, lockers and chairs were to be supplied to schools by October 19.
The government allocated Sh1.9 billion for the supply of locally assembled desks to both public primary and secondary schools.
Primary schools will receive 360,000 desks at a cost of Sh900 million, while secondary schools will receive 263,157 lockers and chairs at a total cost of Sh1 billion.
Each primary school will receive 70 desks while each secondary school will receive 50 lockers and chairs.
In September, Basic Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang advertised and asked qualified local artisans to apply for the tender. The artisans were to fill the forms and return them by September 18.