Thousands of children in Kilifi county have missed to join the Early Childhood Development Education Centres because construction of the schools stalled since 2013/2014 financial year despite the county government having allocated Sh60 million for the projects.
Most of the ECD projects stalled against the county governments wish due to challenges with individual contractors. Some of them have had their tenders terminated and re-tendered because of financial challenges of the government.
Speaking at Kizingo Primary School in Chinyi sub-county while distributing stationery and other learning materials to the ECD children in the area, County Education minister Prof Gabrile Katana said construction of 128 stalled classrooms in the region has now been revived.
“We have had consultations with the Budget Committee and agreed that all the stalled projects due to lack of funds be revived. The 28 contractors who abandoned their sites have now resumed their works,” Prof Katana said.
Katana, a former lecturer at Pwani University said: “There are over 136,000 ECD children in the county and each of the 35 wards must have enough equipped institutions and teachers”.
The don said that by April this year, 134 ECD Centres projects were completed out of the 346 targeted to be completed by the end of December.
“More than 600 ECD teachers have been employed permanently and 300 were interviewed recently. We aim to employ 1,000 teachers by December so as to ease the parents’ burden of employing them,” he said.
Mwawesa MCA Caroline Kalume expressed disappointment that children had been denied their right to access education and a number of them forced to stay at home or walk long distances to the ECD centres.
“Parents are being forced to pay levies yet the county government had promised to pay the teachers and other necessities,” she said.