Dancan Odiwuor Omolo, Enose M. W. Simatwa
This study investigated the implementation of safety policies in public secondary schools in Kisumu East and West Districts, Kenya. The study population consisted of 2 Quality Assurance and Standards Officers (QASOs) and 54 head teachers from 54 public secondary schools in Kisumu East and West Districts. Stratified random sampling was used to sample 30 head teachers and schools to take part in the study. A saturated sample of two QASOs was taken for the study. The instruments used for data collection included head teachers and QASOs questionnaires, interview schedules and observation schedule. Qualitative data collected from interviews was transcribed and analyzed on an ongoing process as themes and sub themes emerged. Quantitative data was analyzed by use of descriptive statistics in form of frequency counts, percentages and means. The findings of the study showed that the implementation of some safety policies was to a large extent implemented as evidenced by the following: Housing for teachers was provided in 76.67% of the schools. Dormitories in 70% of the schools had emergency doors, 17 out of 30 schools had dormitories with doors opening outwards, and 28 out of 30 schools had secure fences and gates while 96.67% of the schools had first aid kits. The study also established that some safety policies were implemented to a lesser extent as evidenced by the following cases: There was a decreasing trend in conducting fire drills, fire extinguishers were found in only 26.67% of the schools, there was crowding in 70% of the schools and 93.33% of the schools did not have enough toilets. Factors influencing the implementation of safety policies included inadequate funds, time, capacity, transport and coordination. The study found out that teachers and QASOs played significant roles in the implementation of safety policies. Head teachers’ and QASOs’ attitudes towards implementation of safety policies was positive. Based on these findings, it was concluded that the overall implementation of safety policies fell short of the requirements as stated in the policy circular. The implementation of safety policies was also negatively affected by factors within and outside the schools. Head teachers and QASOs had a positive attitude towards the implementation of safety policies. Based on the conclusions and findings of this study, it was recommended that: Ministry of Education should ensure that head teachers reside in schools and implement safety policies, head teachers should ensure that fire drills are conducted more regularly and that the fire extinguishers required are purchased. Head teachers should also construct and maintain adequate number of toilets and secure fences.
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