Teachers' unions fault ministry over execution of safety measures in schools
By Lonah Kibet | August 11th 2015
Teachers' unions and civil society have waded into the debate on who is responsible for poor safety measures in schools that have led to deaths of students and destruction of property.
They blamed parents and the Ministry of Education for lawlessness and failure to adhere to set safety guidelines in learning institutions.
Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi had accused schools and other players in the sector of frustrating ministry's efforts to press for implementation of proposals to redress violent unrest.
Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Secretary Akelo Misori said Prof Kaimenyi should be focusing more on how the guidelines will be implemented.
"Who should pay for the cost of the implementation? Remember some of the buildings were put up before the guidelines were made," noted Misori.
The Kenya National Union of Teachers had also earlier accused the Education ministry of focusing on fighting teachers rather than assisting them protect the students.
Yesterday, Elimu Yetu Coalition National Coordinator Janet Ouko said the ministry has failed in its duty to ensure schools adhere to the set safety guidelines.
"The ministry should be the one ensuring that in case of disaster, schools have the capacity to handle, if not prevent the situation," said Ouko.
She also took issue with parents for failing to discipline their children at homes.
She said parents should be proactive in ensuring that their children do not engage in indiscipline cases such as using drugs and alcohol.
"Let us not blame the schools and teachers when students misbehave because most policies in place limit disciplinary actions teachers can take on students including the Basic Education Act," she said, adding that in cases of drugs abuse, the criminal unit should be involved.
Ouko pointed out that they would be presenting a raft of suggestions on curbing indiscipline in schools at a stakeholders' forum to be held next week, for approval and implementation.
This comes following a series of articles revealing the lack of security measures in most school that lead to disasters, even with guidelines in place.
A survey conducted recently showed cases of schools without perimeter walls and limited or no security at night and lack of emergency exits in dormitories, among other concerns.
Such cases have caused deaths of students, serious injuries and massive destruction of school property.
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