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Security breaches in schools not to be taken lightly

By - | Feb 12th 2014 | 2 min read

It is undoubtedly a case of tough love and an act of trust for a parent to send his or her child to boarding school. A majority of parents agonise over the decision to leave their children in the care of teachers for more than a month continuously.

But weighed against today’s competitive world and the pressures of eking out a living, boarding schools always win. However, parents accept this inevitability with trepidation.

Rare exception

Forget the  theory that some parents consider boarding schools as places to take their ‘nagging’ children. That is a rare exception.

For most, parenting is not allowed to come in the way of career or professional development in many families across the globe. It is therefore disheartening when those charged with the huge responsibility of taking care of the young ones in boarding schools seem to abdicate or take their duties lightly.

Security is major challenge in Kenya today. Hence, all school authorities must take extra caution to ward off insecurity. How a gang attacked St Charles Mutego Education Centre in Nairobi’s Dagoretti will baffle all parents. That a Form One student was killed and over 40 injured will send chills down the spines of most parents.

Does it mean there was no adequate security to ward off the attackers? What was the motive behind the raid? Did the school’s management know of the danger? What did they do to avert it? How will the parents be assured such incident won’t recur? These questions must be answered as the police, government, Ministry of Education and all stakeholders rethink students’ security in all public and private schools. 

It is not in the country’s interest to always respond to school tragedies, instead of preempting them. When a school is, for instance, caught up in a land dispute, the management must always be alert to possible security breaches.  When a school neighbours drug trafficking or abuse lanes, the management must seal it off from any such influences.   The Ministry of Education should initiate and supervise security precautions for schools. Any school, public or private, found to be wanting on security matters should be punished heavily.  We have also had cases of neglect by teachers. This may happen during games or when travelling outside the school.

Not so long ago a nursery school pupil fell badly in a swimming pool, hurting her jaw. The teacher in charge only wiped the blood off her mouth with Dettol and didn’t bother informing the parents.

After two days, the child died from complications developed from the accident. Teachers bear the greatest responsibility for students’ safety under their care. They must step up their call to duty and be alert at all times.

But ultimately, the Government is once again called upon to boost security in all schools. It has the machinery to do so.

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