School Principals have been urged to show zero-tolerance to sexual abuses to school-going children.
At the same time, the heads need to expose and deal with such vices in an ambitious campaign by the government that seeks to make learning institutions safe for children.
While addressing school principals at the 43rd Annual National Conference of Principals at Wild Waters in Mombasa County on Wednesday, Deputy President William Ruto said that leaders must ensure that only the right things take place in schools.
“This is an important mandate for you as custodians to provide an environment that is habitable. Learners must be safe, particularly from sexual abuse. This must be prevented and severely punished whenever it occurs,” said the Deputy President.
He called on the school bosses to disrupt any schemes to neglect, tolerate or cover-up sexual and other abuses, saying that they must take a firm stand and lead through “strong values”.
To address the abuses, Mr Ruto announced that Boards of Management will institute participatory administrative structures that would be open to students, teachers and parents in line with the Constitution and the Basic Education Act.
“Your leadership should be participatory. The school environment must be student-friendly. Leaders of integrity in forward-looking societies cannot be produced in tyrannical, abusive, prison-like conditions,” he said.
Mr Ruto said that work had started on the rationalisation and delocalisation, and urged the principals to sensitise teachers on the plan that is expected to further diversity, deepen cross-pollination and rejuvenate teaching and learning.
In the address, the Deputy President noted that a textbook distribution policy would equip every learner with six textbooks when joining Form One. The scheme, he said, would improve efficiency in delivery of learning materials while reducing costs.
He noted that disadvantaged households would experience a far diminished financial burden with increased capitation for Free Day Secondary Education.
“This capitation has increased from Sh12,870 to Sh22,244.Through the ministry of education, we are also investing in expanding school infrastructure and enhancing Boards of Management capacity as well as Parent-Teacher Associations to drive up the quality of school governance,” said Mr Ruto.
This, he observed, would enable school communities to tackle gender disparity in resource allocation, harsh environmental conditions, insecurity as well as drug and substance abuse and indiscipline.