Students are currently returning to school for the new term, and the Inspector General of Police, Martin Okoth Ochola, has reminded school administrators and educators how they are required by law to protect schoolchildren from harm, including health, safety, and security risks.
Martin Okoth Ochola, Inspector General of Police, has reminded the school administrators, and educators, that it is their legal responsibility to protect school children from harm, including risks posed by health, safety and security.
According to Ochola, the safety and security guidelines issued by the Ministry of Education should be strictly adhered to by all schools.
He tipped that all schools should ensure they review their security emergency preparations, supervision and other school safety fundamentals including the school visitor procedures.
The IGP said it is important that schools ensure all their learners are examined upon their return to school for any signs of child abuse during their holiday.
“When transporting children to school, ensure you walk with them to teach them safe habits around drop zones or in the classrooms. For the boarding schools, establish contacts to monitor the safe arrival and presence of the children at school.”
Ochola said children transported on motorcycles should wear helmets since 80% of all head and brain injuries arise out of failure to use helmets.
“Ensure your child knows your mobile number or emergency police numbers 999/112. Learn to set up GPS tracking devices on your child’s mobile phone or other items. Avoid use of shortcuts that puts the child in a vulnerable situation,” the IGP said.
“Watch out for stalkers on foot, motorcycle or motor vehicles. Seek help immediately in case of any suspicious movements or go to the nearest police. Teach your children how to avoid talking to strangers and to never accept lifts from them or someone not approved by their parents. The same applies to any gifts or food from an adult.”
In addition, he said all prohibited items smartphones, lighters, matchboxes, polythene bags, selected electrical gadgets and any other items deemed illegal must not be allowed inside schools.
“All stakeholders should keep in mind that security is an ongoing process that requires vigilance and situational awareness. In addition, all school administrators are advised to regularly liaise with the territorial police units and update each other on the prevailing security situation,” he added.
“We wish all students a happy first term and urge them to report any crime and safety concerns to the school teachers, LC or area police. Providing a safe learning environment is of paramount importance to the students and school children. We therefore, encourage the deployment of smoked detectors, CCTV camera, access control, armed security guards, intruder alarms and raise wall perimeters.”