The government has announced plans to construct 12,500 low-cost classrooms using affordable technologies.
The low-cost student facilities will be built with local durable materials suited to the country’s different geographies following President Uhuru Kenyatta’s recent announcement to reduce overcrowding in Kenyan schools by increasing the number of classrooms.
Use of low-cost durable and modern technologies is expected to save up to 20 percent on the cost of construction.
Materials to be used for the project include interlocking bricks which are said to be resistant to earthquakes, hollow bricks to reduce the volume of concrete required, and prefab techniques like expanded polystyrene panels (EPS) known to reduce the cost of labour and materials.
During his state of the nation address on November 12, the President pledged to initiate the project to expand school capacities.
The project is expected to decongest schools especially in the wake of Covid-19 and make school structures more secure for children.
School structures have traditionally been known to use concrete, iron sheets, timber, and mud as construction materials both in rural and urban areas.
School heads have suggested that building materials for schools should receive tax exemptions to subsidize the cost of putting up school buildings.
“The cost of building products remains high because of taxes. Relief will mean a reduction in construction costs,” Kenya Secondary School Association chairman Indimuli Kahi told the Star.
He cited the cost of paint, cement, iron sheets, and other building materials which do not currently allow low-cost classrooms to be put up.