An investigation into the implementation of health and Safety standards in secondary schools in Kakamega Central sub county, Kakamega county, Kenya
School safety is an integral and indispensable component of the teaching and learning process. Despite the importance of school safety, a new wave of mayhem has emerged in our society and the school has not been spared. There is an upsurge of violence arising quite rapidly. The study was carried out in Kakamega Central Sub County as most schools in the Sub County have the health and safety standards but are not pro-active. The level of awareness among the learners, staff, stakeholders and the school community is low and few if any are aware about safety needs but are ill prepared. The purpose of this study was to investigate the challenges facing the implementation of the school health and safety standards in secondary schools in Kakamega Central Sub County, Kakamega County, Kenya. The objectives of the study was to; extent of implementation, levels of disaster-preparedness, challenges and strategies involved in implementation of health and safety standards in secondary schools in Kakamega Central Sub County. The study adopted mixed methods research design. The study targeted 24 secondary schools teachers, 24 head teachers, 4800 students and 5 DQASO in the Sub County. Purposive sampling was used to select the DQASO and head teachers in the study. Simple random sampling was used to select the students and teachers. The sample size comprised of 10 head teachers, 72 teachers and 321 students. To test the validity and reliability of the instruments, a pilot study was conducted in Kakamega North sub- count. Data was collected using questionnaires, interviews schedules, observation schedules and document analysis. Collected data was analyzed using descriptive statistical techniques to establish organizational structures responsible for school health and safety, qualitative data will be summarized based on themes. Most schools had a circular on health and safety standards in their schools. The safety guideline had been partially implemented in most schools and therefore creating a risky situation to the occupants of such facilities in case of an emergence. All exit points from school had not been built according to government’s specification. Majority of the schools had a copy of safety standards manual. The selective provision of fire equipment, inadequate funds and fire equipment were the major constraint in implementation of safety standards and guidelines. There was inadequate knowledge/know how on how to operate the equipment’s and there was low level of awareness in management of disasters in schools. There is need for First Aid Kit presence in schools so that students can be equipped to face any circumstances that require urgent care. The respondents revealed that fire extinguishers were located inside the buildings, the administration block, dormitories and the kitchen. In order to ensure proper implementation of health and safety standards in secondary schools there is need for allocating of more funds and administration being committed to implementing the policy; assist to construct more toilets to serve the population. The capacity building should be conducted to create enhance awareness on the importance of health and safety standards in secondary schools. The government should put in place measures on how to implement the safety standards and guideline and provide a monitoring base. School management should locate fire extinguishers in strategic places especially at the exit of every block.
- School of Education