Principals, Security Heads Hold A Crisis Meeting To Discuss Schools Unrest.



Thika West School Principals and the District’s heads of the security team have come up with a raft of strategic measures that, if applied, will combat the wave of violent schools unrest that has rocked the country recently.

In a meeting convened by the Thika Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) Tom Anjere and John Ndundu, the Deputy County Director of Education (DCDE) at the Thika High School for the Blind, the school heads preempted causes of the current wave of unrest in schools and possible solutions to curb and prevent them before they actually happened.

“We are currently lucky to have not had any case of school strikes in the district but we cannot take any chances at all. We had a very fruitful discussion with the principals and we have already come up with the way forward on measures we should take to ensure that the strikes don’t happen at all in our institutions,” said Mr. Ndundu.

 The heads laid part of the blame on the media whose coverage of the same, they said, aggravated the situation. They also blamed government for coming up with policies that were not well thought out but had serious implications on the ground. The current political temperature too had a part to play in the mess as the politicians were acting as very bad role models to the young minds.

“The Kenyan media has been a great let down to this country due their lack of patriotism and professionalism in reporting these cases. The way they do it is like they are glorifying the arsonists, thereby giving a ‘food for thought’ to those students that have not yet burnt their schools,” said one teacher.

The principals were also in consensus that the problem was a collective failure in the part of the parents, teachers and the society at large who they said did not play their role in preventing them from happening and guiding the children into adhering to the right values, virtual and morals.

Exam fever and  pressure mounted on the candidates and their teachers by both the society and those in authority was also sighted as a reason towards the degradation of the students’ discipline and obedience.

“The government is laying too much emphasis on examinations results, a matter that is putting too much pressure on the students. Weak students who feel that they can’t pass exams seek for ways to be out of school, just to have a break from the torturous school environment. Their parents too are guilty for pressuring their sons and daughters to attain university grades,” they said.

The DCC warned anyone, be it a student, teacher or a parent who participated on any form of schools unrest, that his office would take very stern action against them. He said that the government was doing everything possible to ensure that learning in all schools was done in a safe environment and they would go out of their way to guarantee the safety of both the students and the teachers who were willing to excel in their endeavour.

“As the Security Committee in the district, we are will visit schools, have discussions with the students and we also intend to convene another meeting for all the stakeholders in the education sector to ensure that everyone read from the same page,” said Anjere.

He asked the school heads whose institutions lacked proper fencing to work out on modalities to secure them since this was one of the ways that criminals accessed the schools to either help to plan these strikes or deliver arson material or drugs.

He promised to follow up a proposal that had been presented to his office to have Thika Town and the adjacent residential areas installed with CCTV cameras and security lights to help nab criminal elements.

Mr. Ndundu encouraged school heads to involve all stakeholders in their decision making processes so as to avoid the friction that may result in sabotage by some aggrieved parties.

“When schools go on strike, it is not a matter of the principal alone, it is a collective responsibility for all stakeholders. This gesture we have demonstrated here should be replicated in our schools. Everyone has a role to play in the administration of the schools. Let everyone feel appreciated in the management of the schools in order to create a sense of ownership in the schools,” said the DCDE.

He said that it was also important for the heads and their deputies to reside in schools as a measure to monitor closely the goings-on within their jurisdiction. He also called for an intensified guidance and counseling programme that would help mold our students into responsible people.
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