President stops infrastructure development in secondary schools under World Bank project

President stops infrastructure development in secondary schools under World Bank project

President Uhuru Kenyatta has halted all infrastructure development in secondary schools under a Sh22.8 billion World Bank project.

Under a deal with Kenya, the bank was to provide Sh22.8 billion between 2017 and 2023 to improve infrastructure in secondary schools so they could absorb all primary school leavers. Schools in 110 sub-counties in 30 counties were to benefit. The selected 17 contractors were to build classrooms, dining halls, toilets and laboratories, among other facilities.

The project also included helping the government to hire and train teachers, provide scholarships to needy learners and customise a curriculum. However, President Kenyatta directed Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha to stop the release of funds for construction under the project, citing a needs analysis in secondary schools.

Void procurement

The bank has warned Kenya that procurement for the project may have to be done afresh, after the government stopped the release of funds for it. The government study was completed and sources in the Education ministry now say emphasis has shifted to getting all primary school leavers to join secondary schools.

While Prof Magoha denied that the World Bank-funded Secondary Education Quality Improvement Project (Seqip) had been suspended when he appeared before the National Assembly’s Education Committee last month, the Nation has seen the confidential directive issued to the CS ordering that all payments under the scheme be halted.

The World Bank in April warned Kenya that delays in signing contracts with construction companies could now render the procurement process void, and stall the project that was intended to be completed by 2023.

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