POOR RESPONSE

Schools should have crowd control policy for emergencies

Death of 14 pupils of Kakamega school would have been saved with order at the stairs

In Summary

• Overcrowding, poor safety standards in schools and lack of awareness are putting lives at risk since they play a key factor in such incidents. 

• Regular evacuation drills should be practised to determine which group of learners uses the right or left side of the staircase in case of such incidents like fires.  

Kakamega Primary School where 14 pupils died in a stampede.
39 HURT: Kakamega Primary School where 14 pupils died in a stampede.
Image: HILTON OTENYO

Schools are deemed potent hubs of capacity building for children as they nourish the future of any country.

These are the places where the young generation of a nation acquire skills which prepare them to face the hardships of adulthood. However, it's notable not to shirk that they are also vulnerable to different disasters like earthquakes, flooding in school, fires and the most recent stampede incident at Kakamega Primary School. 

The Monday stampede claimed 14 lives of pupils while at least 39 were left seriously wounded. Overcrowding, poor safety standards in schools and lack of awareness are putting lives at risk since they play a key factor in such incidents.

This calls for crowd management strategies from the education bureaus. Schools would assign teachers to lead groups of students up and down the stairs before and after classes and during scheduled breaks.

Teachers or assisting staff should be posted on stairwells to keep order. School management should also be educated on what to do in case of such emergencies and how to respond to accidents within the school compound. 

It would also increase the safety of children if schools had wider staircases as pupils, without supervision, will attempt risky activities on the stairs such as racing. 

There is also a need that each school formulates a crowd management policy which should be followed for all events involving many pupils like sporting events, music and drama contests among others.

Regular evacuation drills should be practised to determine which group of learners uses the right or left side of the staircase in case of such incidents like fires.

 

Mombasa