Schools yet to take insurance covers
Parents continue to bear the cost of destruction of property in case of fire and unrest as most schools are yet to take up insurance covers. School heads said the fees guidelines set by the Education ministry could not allow them raise insurance fees. The report of the Task Force on Student Discipline and Unrest in Secondary Schools, known as the Wangai Report of 2001, recommended that schools acquire comprehensive insurance policy to cover property against fire and loss of life for students and staff. Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association national chairman John Awiti said the cost of property destroyed in case of a fire or destruction during riots is often passed to parents. According to the Ministry of Education, the recommended secondary school fee is Sh9,374 for day schools, Sh53,553 for boarding and Sh37,210 for special needs schools per year.
Counties have no capacity to manage education, MP claims
Narok South MP Korei ole Lemein wants the education function to be centralised on grounds that counties have no capacity to manage the unit. Lemein said the counties left on their own may not succeed in managing education should it be devolved as suggested by some governors. The legislator, accompanied by his Narok West counterpart Patrick Ntutu in opening two classes built by CDF at Olenkuluo Primary School, said CDF had contributed to 80 per cent improvement of education structures in the country. “As Members of Parliament, we will not allow the counties to manage education. Health, which is devolved, is now being run down as compared to when it was under central government,” said Lemein.
Insecurity fears in schools as 11 dorms set on fire in Bungoma
A wave of student unrest has seen 11 dormitories razed in Bungoma county in the past six months. Many students have lost property in the infernos, with school authorities pointing figures at indiscipline, incitement and poor relations between the students and their parents and teachers. The county's director of special programmes, Julius Bakasa, says majority of the fires are as a result of student unrest or electric faults. Speaking at Khasoko Boys Secondary School in Bumula constituency after an inferno razed one dormitory, Bakasa said it had proved expensive for the county to handle fire cases because there are no funds set aside to deal with such disasters. Some of the learning institutions that have been affected by the raging fires in the county include Chesamisi Boys, Khasoko Boys, St. Mary's Kibabii Boys and Kimaeti Boys.
Lack of perimeter walls leaves Kwale institutions exposed
Most schools in Kwale county do not have perimeter walls. A spot check by the Standard in the tourism town of Ukunda established that most of the schools do not have a fence, leave alone a gate. Mkwakwani Primary for example is next to the Ukunda airstrip to the South and a forest to the East, which has hit the headlines for being a bush brothel famously known as Chobingo. Shamu Primary on its part is at the centre of an area which is most hit by radicalisation with a number of youths having joined al Shabaab. With all these, the school does not have a fence. Worse still, a path passes through it and leaders have warned that this might make it an easy target. “We are also concerned that these schools should have a perimeter wall so that learners cannot just get out anyhow.
Kuppet faults ministry over safety concerns in schools
Teachers' unions and civil society have waded into the debate on who is responsible for poor safety measures in schools that have led to deaths of students and destruction of property. They blamed parents and the Ministry of Education for lawlessness and failure to adhere to set safety guidelines in learning institutions. Education CS Jacob Kaimenyi had accused schools and other players in the sector of frustrating ministry's efforts to press for implementation of proposals to redress violent unrest. Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Secretary Akelo Misori said Prof Kaimenyi should be focusing more on how the guidelines will be implemented. "Who should pay for the cost of the implementation? Remember some of the buildings were put up before the guidelines were made," noted Misori.