Accounting for Learners’ Safety and Environmental Protection in Public Secondary Schools Based on Safety Standards Manual (2008) in Nzaui Sub County, Makueni County, Kenya
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Safety is a key requirement for survival and a top priority aspiration for every human being as confirmed by the adage “safety first”. This consideration is relevant and applicable to school situation when it comes to learners’ safety and environmental protection. Learners’ safety and environmental protection is anchored on convection of the rights of the child adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (1989). All member states of United Nations General Assembly are signatories and are obligated to develop laws and enforce measures to protect the child from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect, maltreatment or exploitation. Learners’ safety is also amplified worldwide by being made the main goal of sustainable development goals (SDG) which aim at building and upgrading education facilities that provide safe, nonviolent, inclusive and effective learning environment for all learners. Indeed school safety is an integral and indispensable component of teaching and learning process as no meaningful teaching and learning a take place in unsafe environment. A safe school is a SINE QUA NON for effective teaching and learning. This study is based on Dewey’s social constructivism theory. The purpose of the study is to establish levels of learners’ safety and environmental protection in public secondary school in Nzaui Sub County, Makueni County. The study was guided by three specific objectives. The review of safety standards manual and related circulars establishing levels of learners’ safety and environment protection in public secondary schools in Nzaui sub county and proposing ways for enhancing learners’ safety and environmental protection in schools. The study adopted descriptive survey design, used purposive and stratified sampling to access samples from targeted population. Questionnaire and observation schedule were developed and tested by the researchers. The data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics by use of statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). The findings indicated 72% of schools in Nzaui Sub County did not have copies of the safety standards manual for schools, fire extinguishers were not adequate and strategically located within the school and overall compliance with the safety standards manual was below average, therefore need for more sanitation and retooling on safety and environmental protection matters in public schools.