Implementation of safety standards and guidelines in public secondary schools in Marani District, Kisii County, Kenya
Nyakundi, Zablon Ogonyo
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School Safety is an integral and indispensable component of the teaching and learning process. Indeed no meaningful teaching and learning can take place in an environment that is unsafe and insecure to both learners and staff. It is therefore important that educational stakeholders foster safe and secure school environment (Republic of Kenya, 2008). In an apparent response to tragedies that hit schools in the last decade, Ministry of Education (MaE) introduced a Safety Standards Manual four years ago. However it is emerging that most schools have no capacity to handle emergencies and are yet to even implement Safety Standards Manual produced four years ago. The purpose of this study was to establish why school management is not fully implementing MaE Safety Standards and Guidelines in Public Secondary schools in Marani District, Kenya. The Government policies, administrative factors, disaster management and emergency facilities exemplify the independent variables while school safety exemplify the dependent variable. The objectives of the study were to: establish the safety situation, outline the main causes of disasters, examine the constraints in the implementation of safety measures and explore major strategies put in place to prevent occurrence of disasters in public secondary schools in Marani District, Kenya. The study adopted a descriptive survey design and data was collected using one questionnaire. The target population was 28 public secondary schools in Marani District. Stratified, purposive and simple random sampling was used to select the required sample of the study of 49 teachers. Reliability of instruments was determined by use of test-retest method. Validity of research instruments was determined by conducting pilot study before the actual study. Data was quantified using descriptive statistics like frequencies and percentages and finding presented in charts, tables and graphs. Thematic analysis was used to analyse qualitative data. The major findings of the study were the MaE safety standards and guidelines had not been fully implemented majorly due to inadequate funds and inadequate supervision. The major recommendations therefore were policy makers to follow up, monitor and evaluate safety situation in all educational institutions and provide funds to all schools to enhance disaster preparedness. Significantly the study findings underscore the importance of adhering to safety standards and guidelines in schools thus education policy makers and other stakeholders' must come up with strategies to sustain school safety to prevent occurrence of disasters in schools.