Risk management and learning institutions in Uganda
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According to the Uganda Education act, 2008, the provision of education is a joint responsibility of the state, parents and other stakeholders. The schools are required to provide for a safe and secure environment for the learners while in school. Despite these call, the incidence of fire, lightning strikes, food poisoning and road accidents in learning institutions in Ugandan have been on increased. This study was conducted to establish and evaluate the schools contribution to mitigate these disastrous events. The study was carried out in Mpigi district. The objectives of the study was to establish whether the schools have preventive measures to avert these disasters from happening and their preparedness to save the students in cases of disaster of these nature. The study looked at the presence of: exits doors, spacious learning environment (i.e in dormitories and classes), firefighting equipment and guides, generator, and restriction level in accessing the school to protect the learners against fire. Lightning conductors to arrest lightning possibility, safe storage of food stuffs, controlled food vending in school when still allowed in the school in protecting against food poisoning and sit belt, school buses, inspection of drivers health before leaving them in charge of the students’ lives. The study employed random sampling technique and samples of 43 secondary schools were interviewed with at least five from the seven sub counties of Mpigi. The study gave the picture of the status of secondary schools in Mpigi and Uganda as a whole. Found in most schools were the facts that majority do not take the issues of safety and security of the learners as the major priority. Many schools never had: written safety guides for both students and staffs, lightning conductors installed on the buildings, exits doors on the dormitories, and firefighting equipment installed. In over 80% of the schools, dormitories and classes were congested, students had access to food venders and foods are also allowed from parents to their sons and daughters in school on visitation days. The study results showed that the schools needs the ministry’s interventions in form of safety and risks management guides and including the safety and risks management in the existing curricula. The research indicates the needs for schools to wake up and treat the issues of safety and risks management as a matter of priority. As a measure to prevent these disasters, the schools are argued to install lightning conductors and firefighting equipment on their buildings. Make the exits doors of the dormitories, decongest the dormitories and fence the schools. The schools should also stop students from accessing foods from venders and parents at all times. Have security committee at both staffs and board of governors’ level. The schools should involve the community on issues of safety and security of the school.