Magoha issues fresh safety guidelines for institutions

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020 00:00 | By
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha (centre), his PS Belio Kipsang (left) and other officers interact with learners recently. Photo/PD/FILE

The Ministry of Education has issued new guidelines on safety and stability of basic education learning institutions, in the wake of fresh security concerns in schools.

Regional and county education directors are required to ensure strict adherence to set guidelines in order to protect learners from harm.

Among the guidelines issued in a circular signed by Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang, is that all schools must be registered with the ministry to ensure institutions whose status has changed are assessed and re-registered.

“No school should operate with a provisional certificate beyond 18 months without seeking full registration,” Kipsang has directed.

The ministry has also directed day schools, which have converted into boarding without necessary facilities be closed and re-registered.

School managements have been stopped from forcing learners to become boarders as this is the discretion of respective parents.

Obtain authority

“It has been noted that some schools are forcing students in certain classes to become boarders.

A learner who is a day scholar must not be forced to board under any circumstances. Decision to change (this status) must be made by the parent because of the financial implications,” said the PS.

Schools have also been directed to adhere to gazetted fees structures. For schools with a genuine reason to adjust fees above the gazetted amount, authority in writing must be obtained from the Cabinet Secretary.

All learning institutions have been instructed to put in place measures to prevent arson as detailed in the circular issued last year. Special attention should be placed in hostels area when students are in for preps.

Education officers have been told to monitor schools to ensure that only teachers registered by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) are engaged in teaching. The officers should also ensure prudent utilisation of resources.

Further, principals must be alert on any possible cause of unrest so as to avert any eventuality and advise boards of management and County Education Boards on procedure in handling students’ discipline as per the Basic Education Act and Basic Education regulations, 2016.

The guidelines come at a time when various tragedies have hit schools in the recent past. The most recent incident was at a primary school in Kakamega county where 14 pupils lost their lives in a stampede.

In September 2019, Education CS George Magoha closed Precious Talents Top School in Dagoretti and Pama Academy in Kangemi and ordered the affected pupils sent to public schools. The institutions had substandard structures.

In January, three pupils died after lightning struck them at Mkulima Primary School in Kuresoi North Sub-County. At least 53 others were admitted to various hospitals in Nakuru county.

In September 2017, nine students died while dozens of others were injured after a fire burnt down a dormitory at Moi Girls’ School, Nairobi.

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