KNUT Calls For Government to Adopt Mobile Laboratories in Schools
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has called for the government to finance the development of mobile laboratories in schools.
The Executive Secretary of KNUT for the Nairobi Chapter said that the labs are quite affordable.
According to reports, mobile laboratories acquired by the School Equipment Production Unit (SEPU) are priced at around Kshs. 200,000.
Mugwe was of the opinion that SEPU partners with primary schools in Nairobi to establish laboratories in order to facilitate CBC learning.
The Unionist was speaking during a meeting with the Presidential Working Group on Education Reform and visited the University of Nairobi to get their views.
“They even have mobile laboratories which are relatively cheap. The government should be able to finance this, said Mugwe.
The acquired mobile laboratories can carry out experiments for students across the secondary school (Form 1 to 4) as well as at the junior secondary school level where students in Grades 7, 8 and 9 can also utilize it in their learning.
On his part, SEPU Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Joel Mabonga said that the mobile laboratory is an alternative facility in overcrowded secondary schools, especially with the looming double intake.
He said that SEPU was ready to acquire even more mobile laboratories if the government goes ahead with allowing people to acquire and use them.
“Of course, we cannot make many pieces, but we can contract other institutions to do the other pieces,” said Mabonga.
The wooden mobile laboratory is white and has a gas system and a 13-kilogram gas cylinder.
The gas is held in a chamber at the bottom with the sides having a chest of drawers and storage cupboards.
A sink is also provided and it is acid-resistant and it empties into a black jerrican located outside the laboratory.
Water for the lab enters the faucet from a black rack-mounted water supply tank.
The laboratory has power outlets, supply cables and an illuminating bulb for physics projects.
The mobility of the laboratory enhances how useful it can be in all areas where experiments are required in the school. A creative way is situating it next to a class or even just beside an outdoor class session.
For mobility, the lab has four wheels that are ready to lock once a teacher begins working on the project.
A fire extinguisher is also incorporated in one of its compartments in case of a fire.
A school could require around eight of these mobile labs leading to a total of Kshs. 1.6 Million.
At the moment, Kshs. 5 Million is required to set up a laboratory in a Kenyan school.
The cost is tripled with the three science subjects requiring different laboratories.
The government has been pushing Kenyan students to take up science subjects but this has been hindered by a lack of laboratories in schools hence the need for SEPU to start the idea of mobile laboratories.