Schools must ensure learner safety: Uhuru

The Vice President of the African Confederation of Principals (ACP) Alfred Indimuli (left) who is also the chairman of the Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association, ACP president Thembekile Dlovu (second left) and Education Principal Secretary Amina Mohammed (right) looks on as President Uhuru Kenyatta (second right) cuts a cake to mark ten years since ACP was started, August 07, 2018. [PHOTO BY GIDEON MAUNDU/STANDARD].

President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed head teachers to strictly adhere to transport policy that bars night travel for school buses.

The policy limits the operation of school buses between 6am and 6pm. Uhuru said it was the responsibility of principals to guarantee the safety of students.

The President spoke in reference to last Saturday night's accident in Mwingi that killed 10 pupils.

The pupils from Mwingi’s St Gabriel Primary School were travelling from Mombasa, where they had gone for a study tour when their bus was hit by a lorry on the Thika-Garissa road at around 11pm.

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Uhuru said it was unfortunate that the lives of the pupils were cut short. He vowed to make sure schools guarantee safety of students.

The President said no school bus should be allowed to transport students after 6pm, adding that after this time, such buses should be parked at the nearest secondary schools.

"They should get into the nearest secondary school to spend the night there or to the nearest police station so that they can be escorted to the nearest school,” Uhuru said, adding: "It would be better for students to arrive home the next day than lose their lives."

Access to education

The President, speaking when he opened the 10th Africa Confederation of Principals (ACP) in Mombasa, said his administration would ensure all children access to education. “The reforms we are undertaking will make sure all Kenyan children access free primary and secondary education.” 

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He urged principals to ensure students were equipped with skills required in the job market. “Graduates must enter the job market with skills, not tools,” he said.

The African secondary school principals are, among other things, pushing to have teachers involved in the formulating of education policies to ensure effective implementation.

Meanwhile, the President advised teachers to seek observer status at the African Union so they could engage with the continent’s top leadership directly.

"Teachers have one of the biggest roles in moulding new generations and their input in Pan-Africanism is invaluable," he said.

The President said he would lobby other African heads of State to give the observer role to ACP.

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“You have the herculean task to mentor the children of Africa. There should be a forum you can use to engage with the African Union,” Uhuru told the more than 1,200 school principals from

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