West Pokot County Government has launched a Sh100 million infrastructural project for Early Childhood Development centres (ECDs).
The project seeks to improve the learning environment in ECDs through construction of classrooms and toilets and recruitment of additional teachers to curb shortages.
Unlike the common practice of using contractors, the project will set up a project committee, which will manage the funds and construct a classroom at Sh500,000.
The committee comprises of the head teacher, who will act as the accounting officer, the local chief and three members of the community, to be selected by locals. The entire process will maximise use of locally available materials to cut costs which are usually ballooned when the work is contracted.
The move will curb wastage of public funds, promote transparency and ensure the public gets value for its money.
"We want to build classrooms for our children to boost enrolment and improve education standards in West Pokot. The model of the project seeks to curb embezzlement of money which usually results into incomplete structures", Governor Prof John Lonyangapuo told ECD stakeholders at a meeting held in Mtelo Hall, Kapenguria.
The county government has obtained Bill of Quantity and drawings of the classroom from the Ministry of Public works. The classes will therefore have uniform measurements and designs that will be catered for by the money allocated.
Illiteracy has bedevilled West Pokot for ages and this project will enhance literacy levels through increased enrolment and improved transition from one level to the next.
It will also be a shift from common scenarios where pre-school pupils study under trees. During the next financial year, the county government plans to allocate additional funds to equip the ECDs with desks, learning resources like books among others.
Furthermore, a Sh12 million school feeding programme will be rolled out in a fortnight for all ECD centres. The meal comprises of highly nutritive porridge specifically blended with nutritional components. This will boost nutritional levels in the semi-arid region that grapples with high cases of acute malnutrition among school going children.
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