Parents Want Students To Be Involved In School decision-making To Curb Unrest.
The establishment of a unified communication channel between school leaders and students could aid in the reduction of fires and unrest. Nicholas Maiyo, chairman of the National Parents Association, now wants school principals to involve students in decision-making.
This year has seen the greatest number of secondary school fires. 302 students have been arrested for school burnings, according to the Ministry of Education. According to the report, 126 students were apprehended between November 1 and 11, with the remaining arrests occurring between January 1 and October 30.
41 students have been charged with arson and property destruction, while the remaining cases are being handled by school disciplinary committees. Maiyo suggested that this could be the result of a broken communication link.
Using a change in entertainment hours and diet as an example, Maiyo stated that this should involve learners’ input before implementation.
“These children need to be listened to, they need to be involved but our principals don’t give students time to be heard,” he said.
Students at Moi Girls Eldoret went on a rampage, demanding that their principal, Christine Chumba, be transferred in February. Students accused their principal of barring them from participating in extracurricular activities and sports.
Daily consumption of cabbage and Ugali, as well as the sacking of watchmen, were also mentioned as reasons why the students wanted their principal to quit. Maiyo also chastised some school principals for denying students the opportunity to express themselves.
“We still operate with the old ways that students need to be seen not heard, that’s the biggest problem,” he said.
He claims that if this is implemented, it will make it easier for teachers to identify rogue students and prevent tragedy.
“It’s only two per cent of students who are rogue but they influence others because they can’t express themselves,” he added. According to Maiyo, there is a lack of a suitable mechanism for identifying students who fuel the incidents early on.
“There’s a communication breakdown and that’s why prefects are used by teachers to send messages but learners see prefects as one of them,” he explained.
Most students show signs of burning school property but are ignored. Jamhuri High School students, for example, revealed that they had displayed signs of unrest.
As a result, the administration decided to send home some Form 2s and 3s. The students were sent home due to unpaid school fees. This, however, did not derail their original plans.
Two weeks later, a dormitory housing approximately 300 Form 2 students was set on fire. The Buruburu girls allegedly sent a warning to the school principal.
They set fire to a dormitory a few days later. According to principal Caroline Maina, the fire was contained in one of the 45 cubes.
A report signed by Education CS George Magoha, reveals that the unrest is the result of a breakdown in communication between students and school administrators.
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Other reasons mentioned included drug abuse and overcrowding on the school calendar.
According to Magoha, some school administrators are oblivious to emerging trends in student behavioural adaptation.
He observed that this results in contradictory approaches to correcting students.