Assessment of the level of implementation of safety standards guidelines in public secondary schools in Ngong division, Kajiado District, Kenya
Muigai, Grace Wanjiru
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There have been increased reported incidences of fires and other fatal accidents within the school environment. These incidences have left a number of lives lost and property worth million of shillings destroyed in Kenyan secondary schools. Many questions pertaining to the reasons for the increase in these incidences have been raised. It is therefore important to ensure that school safety standard guidelines are strictly followed. The Kenyan government has attempted to address the threat of school safety by issuing safety standard guidelines to schools. What was not clear is the status of implementation of the guidelines. This study assessed the current status of implementation of the MoEST guidelines on safety standards in secondary schools in Ngong Division in Kajiado District. The researcher expected that the status of implementation of the MoEST guidelines on safety in pubic secondary schools depended on knowledge of the guidelines among institutions headteachers, teacher and students, attitude toward various aspects of the safety guidelines,' and resource constraints experienced in implementing the guidelines. The study used a survey design, targeting all the 16 public secondary schools in Ngong Division of Kajiado District. Random sampling was used to select 10 schools, from which 10 headteachers, 40 teachers, and 200 students will participate in the study. Four tools study were used for data collection: a questionnaire for headteachers, a questionnaire for teachers, a questionnaire for students, and an observation schedule. A pilot study was conducted in two schools to help in improving validity and reliability of the questionnaires. Descriptive statistics including percentages and frequency counts were used to analyze the quantitative data obtained. Qualitative data was analyzed by arranging responses according to the research questions and objectives. The study established that status of knowledge of the MoEST safety guidelines among the institutional headteachers, teachers and students was poor. This is explained by the fact that all headteachers and teachers had not attended any course, seminar or workshop on school safety, only a few had a copy of the safety standards manual, a few of them were aware of all safety precautions that schools should take to avert accidents and disasters. Most of the students were also not aware of the schools safety guidelines. Some of the strategies by the government to curtail school safety disasters are said not to be practical and therefore the government should ensure that the guidelines are realistic so as to enhance safety in schools" The government should also ensure that the safety standards guidelines manuals are available in all public schools in order to curb school disasters that are associated with safety. Training related to school safety was not offered. For effective implementation of the safety standards guidelines in public secondary schools, there should be involvement of the government, school administrators, students, parents and the community at large.