School heads in Homa Bay County have been challenged to work closely with security personnel to address cases of insecurity in learning institutions.
Homa Bay County Commissioner Moses Lilan said schools in the county were facing threats ranging from religious extremism to drug abuse and violent protests.
The county commissioner was speaking Thursday during a meeting on the safety and security of schools held at Ogande Girls High School.
Lilan stressed that there was a need for cooperation between head teachers and security officials for quick intervention to combat security threats in learning institutions.
He cited religious extremism as one of the issues which are coming up in schools, fueled by fake criminal preachers.
The Commissioner, however, said religious extremism had not gone out of hand and could be remedied in the affected schools.
“Religious extremism is one of the issues which are coming out in our schools, but it is still manageable,” Lilan said, adding that the other issues are drug abuse among students, theft, violent demonstrations prompted by the transfer of teachers, and power outages.
The administrator argued that proper cooperation between school managers and security officials will help address the issues.
“We have gathered here to look at the security issues affecting our schools. We have resolved that all school managers will work closely with security officers to enable us to eradicate the issues from our schools,” Lilan said.
He said the collaboration will enable a multi-sectoral approach to address the issues affecting schools.
County Director of Education Eunice Khaemba said the meeting resolutions will enable them to succeed in addressing security problems facing the learning institutions.
“Through this meeting, we have been able to identify risk factors of security problems in our schools. We have come up with measures for solving them,” Khaemba said.
She said the time had come for all education stakeholders in the county to be proactive rather than reactive.
Kenya Secondary School Heads Association County Chairman Dickens Bula urged school head teachers to develop good rapport with the local communities to enable them to access information on security threats to their schools.
He said the collaboration will augment the fight against drug abuse in schools.
“Drugs are sold to students by members of the community. Developing good relations with the local community will help in the war against drug abuse and other issues affecting the schools,” Bula said.
The chairman said addressing the issues will make the school environment more conducive to learning.
Educationist and former Bomet Senator Prof. Christopher Langat urged learners and parents to embrace technical and vocational training courses to address the challenges of unemployment.
He said competition for high grades and the attitude that degrees were the only measure of success were fueling cheating in national exams.
“Some of the most successful workers are products of technical training institutions; we must change our mindsets if we are to address unemployment in this country,” Prof. Langat added.
He said he championed the increase in government capitation for technical and vocational courses when he was chair of the education committee in the Senate.
Also in attendance were county Police Commander Samson Kinne and Homa Bay sub-county Deputy county Commissioner Jude Wasonga.
By Davis Langat