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Situation analysis of school safety and school administration participation in public secondary schools; Kenya

Author: 
Salee Damaris Nthenya
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

This study investigated the participation of secondary school administrators in school safety and implementation of safety policies with regard to physical infrastructure and waste disposal in some selected public schools in Kenya. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design; purposive sampling was used to select the respondents comprising of school administrators i.e. 35 Head Teachers (HT), 28 Deputy Head Teachers (DHT) and 12 Head of Departments (HOD) drawn from 75 public secondary schools and 3 Quality Assurance and Standards officers (QASO) as key informants. Data collection instruments included head teachers and QASOs questionnaires, interview schedules and observation schedule. Data collected was analyzed by use of descriptive statistics and presented in tables. The study found out that only 20% of the schools had constituted safety sub-committees, none (0%) of the HTs and DHTs served as secretary or member of the sub-committee respectively as required by policy. All respondents ranked school safety last with curriculum, extra-curriculum and guidance and counseling respectively being given more priority. The study also established that HTs attitude on implementation of school safety was positive with an average score of 64.29%. Whereas 92% and 82.67% of the schools had fitted fire windows/doors without grills and fire extinguishers respectively, a paltry 16% had fitted fire alarms while none (0%) posts evacuation maps in its buildings nor has established a monitoring and evaluation system of school safety. With regard to waste disposal, a majority 65.33% employed unsustainable means of waste disposal where they would abandon pit latrines once they are filled up and excavate others and another 21.33% manually emptying them with buckets exposing workers to the risk of contracting communicable diseases. Further, only 29.33% provided learners with gloves wherever they cleaned their sanitation facilities while none (0%) undertook waste segregation. Based on these findings, it was concluded that the participation of school administrators in school safety issues was low and the overall implementation of safety policies was way below the requirements as stated in the safety manual. It was therefore recommended that: Ministry should enforce school safety programmes by ensuring all schools institute school safety sub-committees to implement safety policies and carry out induction of all school administrators on school safety.

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