Safety of learners your top responsibility, heads told

Reuben Mwambingu @reubenmwambingu

School heads will be held responsible for negligence that may compromise safety of learners in their schools, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has warned.

Addressing the 43rd, Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (Kessha) annual conference in Mombasa yesterday, TSC director Teacher Management Mary Rotich said teachers are charged with ensuring students safety while in school.

“We will hold you accountable for any safety failures in your school because you are the mother and father of your respective schools,” she said.

Rotich accused the school heads of evading responsibility by using school management boards as scapegoats whenever there is a crisis.

“You are the CEOs of your schools and we will not spare the ‘rod’ in dealing with heads whose institutions will be found culpable of neglecting safety of their learners,” she added.

Kessha chairman Indimuli Kahi, however, claimed it is not logical to hold school principals solely responsible saying there are certain things they cannot institute without the support of the boards.

“In my view I would say may be it was just a slip of the tongue by the director… but the truth of the matter is we cannot institute anything without approval by the board of management,” he said.

He, at the same time, called for the abolition of subjects clustering in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE) grading system and during university entry selection.

He said the clustering has been lowering grades of KCSE candidates, and at the same time denying the students a chances to qualify for their preferred courses.

The chairman also hinted that school heads will be keen to interrogate the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) recent report regarding students snubbing particular courses in universities and colleges, as well as cases of some universities failing to receive a single application.

“We have our own reasons as to why students from our schools fail to apply some courses in universities.

For example, the KUCCPS has not been coming out to share with our stakeholders on what courses are available for students to apply,” he said.

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