Teachers have failed learners on sanitation, parents charge

mukumu girls

The main entrance to Mukumu Girls' High School in Kakamega county. 

Photo credit: Isaac Wale | Nation Media Group.

Parents have asked the government to conduct inspections in public boarding schools to assess the learning environment and enforce health standards in the learning institutions.

 The Ministry of Education should form a special task force that will move around inspecting the schools, said National Parents’ Association (NPA) chairman Silas Obuhatsa, adding that school managers had failed to follow the health and sanitation guidelines issued by the government.

 “Teachers should ensure sanitation standards are upheld. Places where food is prepared and the dining halls should be clean. Water should be treated and water storage tanks cleaned regularly,” said Mr Obuhatsa.

The Ministry of Health has initiated plans to form a multi-agency team that to assess the health and education standards in schools across the country.

 Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha said the task force will comprise officials from the ministries of Health, Education, Environment, Water and Internal Security.

 The CS, who visited Sacred Heart Mukumu Girls and Butere Boys high schools in Kakamega County on April 5, said health officials had taken samples of food and water for testing in government laboratories to find out the cause of infection at the school in Mukumu.

 This came as preliminary tests from Kakamega County General Hospital where majority of the girls were taken for treatment indicated that the students suffered bacterial infection from contaminated food and water.

Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang urged school principals to curb overcrowding in dormitories, dining halls and classrooms and to adhere to learner safety standards.

 “I appeal to all heads of learning institutions, school management committees and teachers to strictly adhere to the safety standards for the good of our children,” said Dr Kipsang at Butere Boys High School.

 He urged parents and guardians to take a keen interest in the safety of their children.

“The safety of our children is central to the provision of quality education and,  apart from personal threats, insecurity for the children can emanate from inappropriate school facilities and infrastructure,” he said.