Secondary schools' preparedness on disaster management in the provision of education in Nairobi County, Kenya
Kikuvi, Eunice M
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This research sought to evaluate public secondary schools disaster preparedness in the provision of education in Nairobi County, Kenya. Four objectives guided the study namely: to assess the adherence to policy guidelines on disaster preparedness, determine schools' level of compliance to public building requirements, determine the extent to which guidance and counseling services are utilized and establish the extent of installation of fire-fighting equipment in schools in Nairobi County. The research was based on chaos theory by Henri Poincare (1854-1912); which its premise is that systems sometimes reside in chaos, generating energy but without any predictability or direction. The study adopted a survey design whereby probability sampling was used to select 32 schools from the 67 public secondary schools in Nairobi. Questionnaires, in-depth interviews and observation checklists were used to collect primary data from the respondents. A combination of qualitative and quantitative techniques was used in the analysis. The findings of this research have shown that all the schools have permanent classrooms, first aid kits, fire extinguishers, and alarm/warning systems, gate and perimeter fence as well as firefighting equipment. However, regular inspection was not carried out in the schools. Fire drills are conducted in the schools regularly as required by the Ministry of Education. It was further noted that the schools level of compliance to public building requirements for response during disasters was low and that regular inspection by the ministry of works was not carried out oftenly. The study showed that guidance and counseling services were not utilized in most schools. Most of the teachers had not attended any seminars or training related to disaster management.The findings of the study further indicated that there was no laid down disaster or emergency preparedness plan in the schools. This would call for immediate action to help schools avoid emergencies and become better equipped to mitigate the impact of disasters. Overall, the study concluded that the skills that determine effective disaster management in the provision of education were counseling skills, disaster management skills, life skills, as well as first aid and scouting skills even among the students' body. The study made the following recommendations: the Ministry of Education in liaison with headteachers to assess the adherence to policy guidelines on disaster preparedness, ensure that collaboration, coordination and dissemination of information on any disaster is accurate, timely and meaningful, the government to strengthen policies that promote disaster management, creation of more and strategic fire exists and fire assembly points, head teachers and teachers to be trained on disaster preparedness and guidance and counseling and schools to diversify sources of information on disaster management such as booklets, newspapers, magazines, and journals.