US $5m has been in the 2021/2022 financial year budget for the completion of the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) headquarters building that has stalled for decades.
Construction of the building also referred as Mitihani House begun way back in 1986. The project involves construction of three interconnected blocks of office space dubbed; Towers A, B and C comprising one common basement, ground floor and six upper floors on each tower.
The building is intended to have a complex where printing of all council examination papers would be done and is expected to house the entire council secretariat. The move is expected to reduce the cost of printing examinations, minimize the security risk and enhance confidentiality of the examinations.
Decades of stalling
The US $5m is in addition to US $3.7m that was allocated to complete the headquarters in the supplementary budget in financial year of 2019/2020. According to the National Assembly education committee, it is yet to be completed, 33 years later due some individuals benefiting from the incomplete project each financial year.
“The building must be completed to save taxpayers money that is being wasted on rent and logistics amounting to over US $1m per year. This amount doesn’t include the printing of exams which is done annually in Britain causing another huge expense,” said Education committee chairperson Florence Mutua.
The Busia Woman rep further explained that with the new competence based curriculum system, a lot of assessments which culminate to the final grading of the pupils will be conducted thus this will increase exam printing trips, which is unnecessary if Mitihani House is completed. The council currently operates from six different locations in the city paying US$ 587,000 in rent.
“What will be needed in the next budget is now the purchase of the machines for printing exams to save taxpayers loss of funds,” said Ms Mutua.