Factors influencing compliance with safety standards in public secondary schools in Nyeri Central district, Nyeri county
The purpose of the study was to investigate the factors influencing the compliance with safety standards in public secondary schools in Nyeri Central district, Nyeri County. The study aimed to achieve this by assessing the extent to which student population, school physical environment, students’ discipline as well as students’ training on safety affected the compliance with the safety standards manual for schools. Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory, which advocates for safety and security as fundamental human needs, was reviewed. The study adopted a descriptive research design and targeted all the principals, heads of Guidance and Counseling departments, student leaders (captains) and First Aid or St John’s clubs’ students from each of the 17 public secondary schools in Nyeri Central District. The study sampled 17 principals 17 heads of departments and 51 students from the 17 public secondary schools in Nyeri Central district, Nyeri County. Data was collected using questionnaires, interview schedules and an observation checklist. Data analysis involved both quantitative and qualitative techniques. Data was presented in frequencies and percentages in the form of tables and figures. The study found that there was congestion among the public secondary schools in the study. All the Heads of Departments (n =15) confirmed that there was congestion in their respective schools which posed a challenge to compliance with safety standards. The school physical environment was well taken care of in terms of safety standards; emergency doors that open outwards, enough lighting as well as ventilation in rooms and pathways and grass covered fields were the features present in all schools. The schools in the study had some indiscipline cases but they were few mostly regarding substance abuse. The majority (82%) of the principals in the study showed that discipline levels affected the compliance with safety standards to a small extent. There was no training of students on safety; all the principals in the study (n = 14) indicated that students were only trained on first aid administration. The study concluded that the student population as well as the lack of training of students on safety was bad predictors of the compliance of schools with the safety standards manual. The study also concluded that though there were indiscipline cases, they did not pose a threat to student safety; this was attributed to major indiscipline cases being few and far in between. The study recommended the building of more public secondary schools and expansion of the existing school facilities to ease congestion. The study also recommended training teachers on safety with a view to improving their capacity to teach their students on the same. The study also recommended that The MoE Directorate of Educational Standards and Quality Assurance Commission should establish routine inspection to ensure that safety standard guidelines are adhered to at all times.