New rules to tame school unrest

Friday, February 5th, 2021 00:00 | By
Principal Secretary for Early Learning and Basic Education, Belio Kipsang.

Mercy Mwai and Noven Owiti

The government yesterday outlined tough measures aimed at containing the current wave of arson in schools which has so far affected more than 30 institutions countrywide.

Measures taken include increasing the number of teachers on duty at any given time and enhancing security around dormitories and tuition facilities.

School principals have also been directed to ensure they reside within the school compound to enable them to reinforce and enhance vigilance and security especially in the dormitory area, which has been one of the main targets in most of the arson attacks.

The schools, the circular states, will also be required to put in place a mechanism of accounting for each learner at any given time.

The guidelines come in the wake of increased cases of fire outbreaks in schools, which have been witnessed in various institutions since they reopened on January 4, with the latest being the burning of a dormitory at Lake Baringo Secondary School yesterday. This was the sixth school to be burnt in the county since they reopened. 

“The ministry is concerned about the emerging trend of indiscipline among some learners resulting in arson in our learning institutions that is a threat to the smooth running of school programmes.

Safety and security of learning institutions is a prerequisite to effective implementation of school programmes and it is the sole responsibility of the school Boards of Management,” reads the circular signed by signed by Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang’.

Schools were directed to hold Board of Management Meetings (BoM) before Sunday to discuss and assess the security situation and put in place preventive measures that would be communicated to respective County Education Boards (CEB).

Kipsang’ said all County Directors of Education should convene CEB meetings by February 25 to address indiscipline and discuss the reports of BoM meetings.

“In addition, such cases should be thoroughly investigated with support of security agencies and comprehensive reports submitted to the ministry within one week of the occurrence,” the circular stated.

HR strategies

While telling schools to report to the police for necessary action any criminal activities by learners, Kipsang’ told schools’ administration to be extra vigilant to curtail channels through which drugs are getting into learning institutions and flag out incidences of drugs and substance abuse for corrective actions.

He directed school heads to constantly remind learners that records of their participation in criminal activities would compromise their future careers.

To enhance security, the PS directed schools to work closely with the Ministry of Interior even as he advised principals to come up with human resources management mechanisms that do not antagonise staff and learners.

“Principals to be alert and promptly report on any possible cause of unrest to security agencies to avert potential damage to property and injury to life.

Schools to open up channels of effective communication with their learners and staff that promote a robust grievances and redress mechanisms,” added the statement,

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