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Boarding schools urged to introduce guidance and counseling

The Government has directed all boarding schools in Kwale County to establish guidance and counseling services.

The programme will be spearheaded by the Catholic Church of Kenya, where teachers will be trained on such matters.

According to the multi-agency security committee, the lack of such a significant service has increased students’ unrest leading to the burning of school properties worth millions of shillings.

Speaking to KNA, Kwale County Commissioner (CC), Gideon Oyagi, said the programme would instill values and morals to the students who were still in the discovery stage.

Oyagi added that the multi-agency committee has directed boards of management to ensure that they extended the programme by hiring psychologists in schools to guide students.

“We want to address the core issues leading to unrest in the schools and the boards of management should prioritize this programme,” Oyagi said.

The CC said all national and extra county schools should be fixed with Closed -Circuit Television (CCTV) camera systems to monitor the movement and conduct of students while in the school precincts.

He said the CCTV system would help to detect unlawful acts in schools such as drug smuggling which is associated with student unrest.

Oyagi asked the communities near schools to support the institutions positively and warned against colluding with students in causing unrest saying that the government would not spare them.

“Students are not allowed to report to school with petrol and matchboxes. So, the big question is where do they acquire these things? There must be an agent somewhere who helps students in getting these things and the government will extend its arm to nab such people,’’ he said.

He added that the security team in the county would conduct a crackdown on illegal businesses close to learning institutions.

The CC urged the school management to be innovative and come up with in-house programmes that would help students release academic pressure.

He said if teachers could have been conducting the inter-house and inter-class extracurricular completions, then that could have helped in cooling the pressure.

“I know the government does not allow inter-school competitions but you are free to have the inter-class competitions. Let’s try to bring programmes that will ease the workload pressure on our students,” Oyagi said.

The Ministry of Education suspended all extracurricular activities in schools to prevent the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.

The CC urged school heads to intensify the provision of religious services in schools to help the students acquire good morals.

He said school heads should make it mandatory for all students to belong to a religious group while in school so as to mold them at an early age.

“We want to see every student attending religious teachings while in school. The school management must work closely with religious leaders so that the students can frequently have religious guidance,” Oyagi said.

Oyagi also asked parents to play their parental roles effectively adding that the culture where families were managed by house helps has caused a great challenge in society.

“Parents must be active in the upbringing of their children. Parents should teach their children good morals. Let it be known that charity begins at home,” he said.

By Raymond Zaka and Hussein Abdullahi

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