Status of special primary schools units physical safety in Kitui county, Kenya
Mutwii, Joyce Mwikali
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The purpose of the study was to find out the status of special primary schools/units physical safety and to give suggestions on how to minimize safety hazards and make special primary schools/units safe zones for learners. The study was guided by several objectives all aimed at finding out the current status of special primary schools/units physical safety. It assessed threats to special primary schools/units physical safety, learners' attitudes to their physical safety, challenges of providing and maintaining adequate physical safety in special primary schools/units and strategies of improving status of special primary schools/units physical safety for pupils with special needs in Kitui County, Kenya. This study was found to be of significance at this time because; safety in special primary schools/units is of paramount importance and has been neglected overtime. Pupils of all ages are entitled to a safe school learning environment. The environment has a huge impact on the pupils and as such if there is a feeling of lack of safety among pupils, they become inattentive in class making learning and acquisition of life skills difficult. To a special child therefore, the school safety needs surpasses all the other needs. Descriptive survey research design was adopted and purposive sampling technique used to select the respondents comprising of school head teachers, teachers, support staff and learners. Data collection instruments included questionnaires, interviews, and observation. Data was analysed using both quantitative and qualitative data analysis techniques. The study fmdings showed that the physical safety in special primary schools/units for children with special needs was inadequate, therefore, safety threats existed in the selected special primary schools/units, the learners' attitudes towards their safety in the selected special primary schools/units was negative and there were challenges in provision and maintenance of physical safety in the selected special primary schools/units. The study made the following recommendations: There should be (i) Collaboration of all stakeholders to come up with a working safety policy framework for children with special needs ;(ii) Adherence to safety guidelines and precautions as stipulated by the Ministry of Education to enhance safety for children with special needs in the selected special primary schools/units and (iii) Ministry of Education officials should beef up their visits to selected special primary schools/units for evaluation of how the safety guidelines are implemented in the specific selected special primary schools/units.