The government will need Ksh 400 Billion to comply with Covid-19 social distancing guidelines ahead of reopening of schools on Monday, January 4.
This is according to the Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK) who revealed that the government requires 367,000 additional classrooms with 245,000 in primary and 122,000 in secondary school.
Education and Health ministries published school reopening Covid-19 protocols that required classrooms to achieve the 1.5-metre social distancing rule.
The 1.5-meter social distance requirement is set to see only 20 students per class compared to an average of 50 before the pandemic.
Currently, learning institutions have 300,604 classrooms in both primary and secondary schools that accommodate millions of students.
“Based on a back of the envelope calculation, we would need about Ksh400 Billion to build and equip additional learning spaces to accommodate 20 learners per classroom in primary and secondary schools,” said AAK President Mugure Njendu.
Initially, the Ministry of Education had set aside Ksh 11.4 Billion for development purposes to the Department for Basic Education in the financial year 2020-2021.
The figure is, however, Ksh388.6 Billion short of the AAK projection leaving schools with a challenge, less than a month to reopening.
The government had also set aside Ksh87.7 Billion for recurrent expenditure in the financial year.
Secondary schools have been the most affected by the infrastructure challenge since the Ministry of Education rolled out the 100 percent transition policy without a corresponding focus on expanding the infrastructure.
Since the move, dormitories, classrooms, laboratories, libraries and dining halls have been congested
Education Cabinet Secretary, George Magoha reiterated that achieving social distancing in schools will be a major challenge.
“We have structures in school which dictate that if we do not comply, we will have problems in school,” noted Magoha.