Schools told to get fire-fighting equipment

Monday September 11 2017

Parents are relatives arrive at St Georges Girls' High School, Nairobi on September 9, 2017 to know the state of their children after fire burnt the school kitchen. No one was injured in the fire whose cause was not immediately established. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Parents are relatives arrive at St Georges Girls' High School, Nairobi on September 9, 2017 to know the state of their children after fire burnt the school kitchen. No one was injured in the fire whose cause was not immediately established. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By WINNIE ATIENO
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The government has ordered school boards to acquire fire-fighting equipment as Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) demanded more funds for the purchase of the equipment.

Coast regional education coordinator Abdikadir Kike said all school boards in both public and private schools should avail firefighting equipment as a precautionary measure.

Mr Kike said according to the Ministry of Education, it is a requirement that the boards install the equipment.

The coast education boss said they had increased monitoring and surveillance in schools after unrest witnessed in other learning institutions. 

INSPECTION

“We are very alert and we have enhanced school inspections. We are also collaborating with the six county governments at the coast to ensure safety of our children in both day and boarding public and private schools,” he said.

Speaking to the Nation by phone, Mr Kike urged school heads to be vigilant and report any indiscipline cases to relevant bodies.

However, Knut Coast regional member of the executive council Dan Aloo said the government must remit more funds for the purchase of the equipment.

“Most schools have not been equipped with firefighting tools because it is not in the budget. School maintenance and expenditure is something very important that must be looked into by the government,” he said.

MONITORING

Mr Aloo added:” That is an additional cost, where do schools get the money to buy the equipment? Stakeholders should join in and offer support.” He added that parents should not incur the cost of purchasing the equipment.

Mr Aloo said schools should have perimeter walls and surveillance cameras to monitor everything.

 “Schools should have funds for maintenance and paying watchmen. We need surveillance cameras and two police officers stationed in all boarding schools. Let us be alert to ensure schools are free from danger,” he said.

He called on private stakeholders, unions and the government to form a combined effort with different stakeholders to secure children in boarding schools.

 “In Mombasa, we have Bububu, Likoni for the Blind, Jomvu Girls, Mama Ngina and Shimo la Tewa secondary schools which can be provided with security for instance two police officers in each school,” he said.