School Principals Propose Measures End to Student Unrest
On Friday, December 3, school principals and other education stakeholders met in Nakuru to discuss measures to mitigate fire incidents that have rocked the learning institutions this year.
The principals proposed that the Ministry of Education implement a slew of measures, including the establishment of fire stations in schools, to put out the fires as soon as possible.
They noted that fires destroy properties worth millions of shillings each year, disrupting learning activities and leaving institutions with unfathomable losses.
According to the school administrators, the idea of having fire stations with trained firefighters in schools is not far-fetched and will save parents from having to pay large bills for rebuilding structures that have been destroyed.
Security officers, who were also present at the meeting, requested that school boards and parents coordinate and communicate with the students to ensure that their grievances are heard and addressed.
Furthermore, the security agents, who are mostly police officers, stated that it is critical for schools to conduct background checks on the staff members they hire, such as day and night guards, to ensure that none have a criminal record or are capable of burning down schools.
Beatrice Kiraguri, Nakuru Police Commander County, asked Headteachers to be more vigilant and to obtain copies of good conduct certificates from anyone they hire to work in their schools in order to prevent criminal elements from collaborating with students to burn down schools.
Fredrick Osewe, the County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for education, noted that there was a communication breakdown between teachers and learners, which had greatly contributed to the indiscipline cases.
Osewe explained that any time boys and girls go on strike and burn property, it means they’re communicating, and because they’re communicating in this way, it means communications failed at some point.
“Teachers should build a good rapport with all students and create a conducive environment where learners can openly share their grievances and the school administration takes that into account and offer solutions,” said Osewe
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The education stakeholders’ sentiments and proposals come in the wake of Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha’s admission on Thursday, November 18, that his Ministry was partially to blame for the recent school fires.
Magoha listed the congested school calendar as one of the causes of the school fires in response to questions posed by nominated MP Wilson Sossion.
He explained that the Ministry attempted to adjust the school calendar in order to make up for the time lost during the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, students had to complete the curriculum in less time.