Tharaka-Nithi County will ensure schools have safe buildings, Governor Muthomi Njuki has said, following concern over the cracked walls at Kangutu Primary School.
The governor said Kangutu, which was closed by officers from the Interior and Education ministries, will get Sh1 million from the emergency kitty for repairs and construction of toilets.
On Wednesday, Igambang’ombe Deputy County Commissioner Fred Masinjira sent Grade One to Grade Six pupils home after finding that their classrooms had huge cracks.
Mr Masinjira spoke of the possible consequences if the buildings collapsed, adding that the school's managers could have carried out repairs during the holidays.
Mr Njuki said his administration will support improvement of dilapidated infrastructure in schools to ensure learning goes on uninterrupted.
While noting that Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) is devolved, he said the county will not watch as learners risk their lives in ramshackle classrooms.
“My government will work closely with Members of Parliament in our three constituencies and other education stakeholders in making sure schools have safe buildings," he said on Saturday.
Mr Njuki noted that the county streamlined the ECDE sector by employing qualified teachers and trained them on the curriculum for the best learning outcomes.
He said Tharaka-Nithi also constructed modern ECDE classrooms in almost all schools and equipped them with learning materials.
He spoke at Nkio Primary School in Chuka/Igambang’ombe Constituency where he opened a new classroom.
The county boss noted, however, that all education stakeholders should be consulted before a school is closed, for whatever reason.
When Kangutu was closed, county education director Bridget Wambua asked the learners to return, saying there were no consultations on the matter.
Governor Njuki further asked civil servants to shun politicians out to use them to ruin education.
He said his administration had promised to help with Kangutu's repairs, only to receive media reports that the school had been closed.
“Officers from the department of public health and public works inspected the buildings late last year and recommended repairs. Some officers rushed to close the school while renovation plans were being made," he said.
Mr Njuki said classrooms at Nkio also had cracks. But he noted that last year, he and County Commissioner Beverly Opwora asked experts to investigate the cause and extent of the damage at both schools.
He said they were told that repairs could be done ahead of construction of new buildings.