School principals will now be required to file daily security briefs with county education officials in a move meant to curb rising indiscipline in schools especially fire outbreaks.
Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed also ordered the principals to file daily reports on the discipline situation in their schools with the County Quality Assurance and Standards Officers.
Her directive came following the burning of dormitories by students in 10 schools this term.
Some of the schools that have been hit by fires recently are Lamu secondary, where five students were injured in a dormitory inferno, Sigoti complex girls in Kisumu and Nyabola girls in Homabay. The incidents have raised fears of a recurrence of a series of fire outbreaks in 2016 that hit more than 100 schools countrywide.
Just last year in September, nine students died and several others were injured in a deadly dormitory fire at Moi Girls Nairobi. The fire was allegedly lit by a student and the case is in court.
“The Ministry of Education is concerned with the spate of fires in secondary schools that have destroyed dormitories of 10 schools during the second term. The ministry is determined to pre-empt any further incidents to ensure students’ safety and prevent damage to property,” said Ms Mohamed in a press statement.
She cancelled all regional meetings, including those for the annual Kenya Secondary School Heads Association to allow principals to attend to students without distractions.
She also ordered all school principals, their deputies and boarding masters and mistresses in boarding schools to reside in the institutions to ensure effective supervision of school programmes.
Ms Mohamed asked schools to strengthen their guidance and counselling departments to address students’ concerns, adding that Boards of Management must hold meetings in their respective schools in the next seven days to assess the state of discipline and security.
“The boards have been given until May 31 to submit reports of these meetings to the ministry,” she said and directed regional coordinators of education to recall administrators on leave to help monitor security in schools. She also asked education officials to implement findings of the Special Investigation Team on School Unrest distributed by the ministry last year.
“School managers should report to the police the presence of drugs and prohibited substances for investigation,” she said.