Audit key to safety in schools

This demise of eight innocent pupils at a Nairobi school has highlighted major inadequacies of the system that we must confront. It showed how greed and ineptitude reside in education sector managers and investors. They look the other way as lives are put in harm’s way. It is an open secret that the government has a penchant for knee jerk reactions.

Every time a disaster strikes, officials troop to the scene, address press conferences, toss out appeals then sack a few officials to placate the public. Within the next couple of days, the government has planned a crackdown in which thousands of schools with wanting infrastructure could be shut down and quality assurance officials put to task. We warn that such an operation shouldn’t be carried out without a thorough audit. There is a need for an in-depth inspection to establish gaps and how to address them without detrimental disruptions.

Public schools are ill-equipped. In the absence of adequate financial investment to schools, we shouldn’t expect miracles in these institutions. We urge Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha to invest more resources in public schools. Still, we should bring every stakeholder on board for dialogue. We can make a difference by sealing graft loopholes and making sure everyone is responsible for the acts. We have been seeing a situation where owners of private schools have their own way of running them even if in conflict with the law. This trend, if not checked, will see many more lives lost.

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