RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF SELECTED SAFETY STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES, AND STUDENT SAFETY IN PUBLIC MIXED BOARDING SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NAKURU COUNTY, KENYA
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Globally, researchers have demonstrated the fact that heads of schools have a duty to provide children with a safe, secure, and peaceful environment in which learning can occur (Ministry of Education, Guyana, 2017). However, it is unfortunate that there have been occurrences of various incidences that seem to affect student safety in institutions of learning, as indicated by the inspection reports (Nakuru County Education Office, 2020). The purpose of this study was to establish the relationship between the implementation of selected Safety Standards and Guidelines and student safety in Public Mixed Boarding Secondary Schools in Nakuru County, Kenya. The objectives of the study were to: find out the relationship between the implementation of Safety Standards and Guidelines for Physical Infrastructure; School Grounds; Drug and Substance Abuse, and Food Safety and student safety in public mixed boarding secondary schools in Nakuru County. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. Krejcie and Morgan (1970) sample determination table was used to determine the sample size for students and comprised 327 form 4 students. Out of the 16 schools, 2 had 2 deputy principals each, thus bringing the number to 18. A census approach was used whereby all 16 principals and 18 deputy principals were used for the study. The study population was clustered into 9 sub-counties. A stratified sampling technique was used to categorise the population into three strata, namely, principals, deputy principals, and form 4 students. Principals and deputy principals were selected using a purposive sampling technique, while the students were selected using a simple random sampling technique. Data from students was collected by the use of questionnaires, while that from principals and deputy principals was collected using interviews. In addition, an observation checklist was used to determine the level of implementation of the selected Safety Standards Guidelines in the schools. Prior to use, the instruments were subjected to validity checks with the help of university supervisors and reliability tests guided by the 0.7 Cronbach‟s Alpha Reliability Coefficient level. SPSS version 22 was utilised for data analysis. The analysis involved the computation of descriptive statistics: frequencies, percentages, and inferential statistics. The data was then presented in tables and textually. The study found that the implementation of Safety Standards and Guidelines for School Grounds and Food Safety have a statistically significant relationship on student safety. The study established that implementation of Safety Standards and Guidelines for Physical Infrastructure and Drug and Substance Abuse do not have a statistically significant relationship on student safety. The school management should consider mobilising resources for enhancing the safety of school infrastructure, school grounds and food in compliance with the safety standards and guidelines. This study is significant because it brings to light that the implementation of selected Safety Standards and Guidelines has a statistically significant relationship with student safety in public mixed-boarding secondary schools in Nakuru County, Kenya. The researcher adhered to all ethical considerations of research.