Challenges faced by head teachers in the implementation of health and safety programs in public secondary schools in Mvita Sub-County, Mombasa, Kenya
Gagawala, Jane Njoki
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The issue of Health and Safety in secondary schools is a growing concern in Kenya. Even after the introduction of safety standards manual 2008 by the government in schools nothing much has changed implying that there is a discrepancy in the way it is offered and implemented. Accidents leading to loss of lives and injuries have continued in Kenyan schools. Hence the need for concerted efforts by all stake holders, head teachers included in a bid to strengthen health and safety programs for effective learning to take place. This study sought to determine the challenges facing the head teachers in implementing MOE health and Safety Standards and Guidelines in Public Secondary schools in Mvita Sub-County, Mombasa County, Kenya. The study was guided by the following objectives: to find out ways used by head teachers to implement Health and Safety Programs in public secondary schools in Mvita Sub- County; Mombasa County, to identify challenges faced by head teachers in creating students' awareness of Health and Safety Programs in secondary schools and to establish major strategies head teachers employ to enhance the implementation of Health and Safety Programs in public secondary schools in Mvita Sub- County; Mombasa County. The study adopted Maslow (1954) theory of Human Needs. The target population was 2000 students and 13 principals from 13 registered public secondary schools. Random stratified sampling technique was used to sample 8 principals while purposive sampling was employed to sample 200 students totaling to 208 number of respondents who participated in the study. Data collection instrument used was the questionnaire. The data was organized by the aid of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20 computer software and were analysed using descriptive statistics. The following were the findings: challenges faced by head teachers in creation of awareness in students concerning health and safety standards include: lack of conducting disaster crisis, management and fire drills in some schools, ineffective implementing and monitoring organs such Quality Assurance and Standards and lack of adequate financial resources among others. On the strategies, the study found out that principals use registration of all visitors, fencing, conducting fire drills, ensuring strong guidance and counselling departments. Concerning ways principals employ in the implementation of health and safety standards, the study found out that the latter ensure that windows did have grills and wire mesh, reinforced fencing secured gates and provision of adequate fire extinguishers. Also, frequent fire drills in schools were other ways of enhancing implementation of health and safety program. The study made the following recommendations: that principals should create ways of implementing health and safety standards according to MoE's guidelines, they should also create forums for school stakeholders especially students to create awareness in them concerning safety issues. MoE through Quality Assurance and Standards department should organize in-service workshops to equip principals with skills of implementing health and safety programs.