Factors influencing implementation of flood disaster safety standards in public primary Schools in Uranga Division, Siaya County, Kenya
The safety of pupils is central to the provision of quality education, particularly critical for learners at the primary school level in view of their relatively tender ages. The ability of school programmes to ensure safety of pupils can be crucial in ensuring continuity in the provision of quality education during flood emergencies. Implementing safety measures in schools has been found to be a major challenge. This study aimed at investigating factors that influence implementation of flood disaster safety standards in Uranga Division of Siaya County. Four objectives thus guided the study; to identify ways in which school policies and plans prioritized Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) as a basis for flood disaster safety in schools; to determine the extent to which flood DRR had been integrated into the school curriculum; to examine level to which the School Management Committee (SMC) participated in implementation of flood disaster safety standards in schools and to examine the role pupils played in implementation of flood disaster safety measures in schools. The factors were put in a conceptual framework to demonstrate their relationship with effective implementation of flood disaster safety standards. Literature was reviewed based on the above variables. The study adopted the Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Model of Child Development as its theoretical framework. The research used descriptive survey design. The sample size for the study consisted of 5 schools, 10 members of the School Management Committee, 5 Head-teachers, 10 teachers and 200 pupils. Data collected using 4 sets of questionnaires for the SMC, the Head-teachers, teachers and pupils was analyzed using descriptive statistics and presented in frequencies and percentages in form of tables with the help of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) computer software. The main findings of the study indicated that the lack of comprehensive flood disaster safety policies was a major contributor to the level of implementation of school safety standards in public primary schools. According to the study, a majority of schools had inadequate resources for operationalizing flood safety measures necessary for ensuring the recommended safety standards in terms of safe school facilities and inclusion of flood Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) education in the school curriculum. While a few schools had constructed safe shelters-in-place, compliance with building codes and regulations was still wanting. The study concluded that inadequate resources, lack of stakeholder training on flood DRR and absence of school-wide participation posed major hindrances to implementation of flood disaster safety standards. Finally the study has provided the stakeholders in education with recommendation of flood disaster safety measures that can enhance safety standards in public primary schools. The study recommends training of all school stakeholders on flood DRR order to improve their capacity to effectively implement flood safety standards. In addition the study has suggested further research in areas such as the impact of flood disasters on school access and educational achievement of pupils.