Kwale learners in public schools will be getting new desks when schools reopen.
The County’s public primary and secondary schools will receive at least 9,050 desks, lockers and chairs as part of the sh.1.9 billion expenditure by the Ministry of Education to facilitate acquisition of locally assembled furniture ahead of schools reopening.
Kwale County Director of Education (CDE) Jane Njogu said 5,250 pieces of the school furniture will go to primary schools while the remaining 3,800 will benefit secondary schools.
Each of the primary school desks will cost sh.2,500 while the secondary school lockers and chairs will cost sh.3,800 across the country.
Njogu said the new school furniture, expected to be in classrooms on 1st November, 2020, will address social distancing headache in the learning institutions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said the region has received seven prototype lockers and desks which will be placed at the Sub-County Commissioners and Sub-County Directors of Education offices.
Interested jua kali workshops, artisans or small and medium-sized enterprises involved in carpentry at the sub-county level will be required to register to be considered for the supply of the new furniture.
She said the committees will map all the Jua kali workshops within the sub counties and those owned by youth, women, and people living with disabilities will be given priorities.
“The idea of the economic stimulus program is to empower local people and artisans otherwise the government would have given contracts to big furniture makers for mass-scale production and distribution,” Njogu said.
The new-look desks will replace the traditional seating arrangements in primary schools where usually four to five pupils squeeze into a single bench.
The furniture is meant for additional learning spaces such as dining halls that schools are expected to establish ahead of the anticipated reopening.