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Sh4b for Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) Classrooms Missing

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Sh4b for Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) Classrooms Missing

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu, in her recently released National Government expenditure report for the 2022/23 financial year, has brought attention to the apparent absence of approximately Sh4 billion earmarked for the construction of Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) classrooms during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration.

The scrutiny of the school infrastructural program, designed to facilitate the construction of 10,000 CBC classrooms for a seamless 100 percent transition to secondary schools, revealed irregularities, leading Gathungu to raise concerns about both the allocation and execution of funds.

ALSO READ: KUCCPS Clarifies Sh883 Million Fund Irregularities in Private Universities

Notably, she questioned the pricing of classroom construction, emphasizing the lack of clarity on how the State Department for Early Learning and Basic Education determined the standard cost of a single classroom at Sh709,398 nationwide.

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Of particular concern was the absence of bills of quantities and market survey results during the audit, prompting Gathungu to seek clarification on the methodology used to arrive at the standard cost. The diverse terrain and topographical layout of schools across the country further complicated the establishment of a uniform rate for construction.

In a departure from direct speech, the report underscored the failure of management to provide explanations regarding the specific procurement method employed and the identification of various suppliers. Additionally, there was no evidence of adjustments for inflation to align the prices with the current market rates for construction materials.

The report concluded that the allocated standard amount of Sh709,398 was insufficient for constructing a classroom of the required standard.

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The total value for money spent on the construction of CBC classrooms, totaling Sh3,997,687,865, could not be confirmed under these circumstances. These findings raise significant concerns about the transparency and efficiency of the expenditure associated with the implementation of the CBC program.

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The quality of workmanship in constructing classrooms has also been brought into question by Gathungu. In a comprehensive audit covering 215 secondary schools across 27 counties, issues arose concerning the construction of Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) classrooms.

Gathungu emphasized that physical verification, funding, and interviews with school management revealed that these classrooms were constructed hastily within two weeks, compromising the potential strength and durability of the concrete.

According to the audit report, the insufficient funding and abbreviated construction period contributed to the poor quality of the classrooms.

As a consequence, the sampled schools had poorly constructed classrooms, with visible floor cracks and deep holes. Some classrooms even had floors that had detached completely, exposing the soil beneath. This compromised learning environments, subjecting students to health hazards due to excessive dust.

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Furthermore, Gathungu disclosed that while most existing classrooms in the sampled schools had ceilings and tiled or terrazzo floors, physical verification uncovered instances where school management used their own funds to ensure the new classrooms matched the standards of the existing ones.

The audit also shed light on the underutilization of 30 out of the 215 sampled classrooms during the audit period. The report noted that interviews with school management revealed that these classrooms were not in use, with some converted into storage spaces. The reasons cited included having adequate classes for the student population.

In a separate examination, the audit report delved into the capitation of students in Junior Secondary Schools (JSS). Shockingly, it was discovered that 7,340 learners did not receive capitation amounting to Sh110.1 million due to data inaccuracies.

The report criticized the State Department for not ensuring that the data used for JSS capitation was verified by the respective sub-county offices before fund disbursement. This lapse in verification led to some learners missing out on essential funding support.

“187 out of the sampled 312 Junior Secondary Schools had students that did not receive capitation.

“The actual enrollment of the 187 Junior Secondary Schools was 29,653 learners,” states the report.

ALSO READ: Tragic School Bus Accident Claims Lives of Maadili Primary Pupils

Sh4b for Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) Classrooms Missing

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