Kenya Primary School Heads Association Conference, Sheikh Zayed Ground, Mombasa, 13 – 17 August 2018
With support from Danida, NWH and GVRC teams attended the annual KEPSHA conference. The themes for discussion during the conference covered child sexual abuse of boys and girls (defilement), the status of the boy child in the country, alternative forms of discipline and the role of the teacher in detection, response and reporting of child abuse cases. The sessions were held at GVRC-NWH exhibition tent where teachers were also mobilized for uptake of medical services and medical information. This was key as they received comprehensive information on management of medical conditions, healthy living and where to receive medical treatment in case of abuse.
GVRC’s objectives in attending the conference were to;
- Raise awareness on the NWH –GVRC brand with an aim of meeting the implementers of GVRC programmes through issuing promotional materials, one-on-one interactions for purposes of feedback.
- Raise health awareness among the teachers who are our clients through basic screenings i.e. Rbs/BP and consultation with our doctors alongside feedback on those who have accessed our services.
- Link with the key persons in education with an aim of roping them in to assist in penetration into the coastal market during the schools’ edition and a general understanding of the area.
A total of 2068 teachers were engaged during the course of the conference, the highlight being Education C.S. Amina Mohammed’s visit to the GVRC/NWH exhibition tent. In the main hall event, the CS said that all primary schools starting next term will begin to enjoy a five days break from school as the teachers and their pupils deserve a break. Her speech reflected GVRC’s objective of alignment to laws and policies in place and the strengthened requirement that no school should not conduct holiday tuition and emphasized that those found working will be severely punished.
Programmatically, the Hon. C.S promised that she will engage the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) secretary General to avert the looming National strike and this development will enable GVRC to achieve the set objectives by monitoring proceedings and consultative engagements in the event that the strike materializes or not. Of great importance, that GVRC will underline the new requirement that enhances child protection. This new directive indicates that school will henceforth start at 8.30 AM and close at 3.30 PM.
The project visibility materials shared during the weeklong event included posters on awareness and education on gender-based violence including child protection and reporting mechanisms against child abuse. IEC Materials distributed also included TSC policies- protection of pupils /children from sexual abuse, circular 3/2010, protection of pupils/students circular 14/2018 and circular 6/2017-safety of learners in learning institutions. The materials disseminated were also used to create awareness and discussions with the head teachers. The materials will continuously be used to create awareness, act as a reminder to teachers and students and offer reporting mechanism to facilitate a speedy response.
Our objectives were met during the conference and the outcomes were as follows;
- Increased awareness and visibility of the project in a National forum
- Recognition via visitation to GVRC tent by the Cabinet Secretary of Education who stamped the firm stance on ending corporal punishment in schools across the country
- Prompt medical check-ups and information that will improve the quality of life for the head teachers leading the number of teachers in thousands.
- IEC materials disseminated enhanced awareness and education as they formed takeaway materials
- Identification of issues to be addressed by head teachers that will advise GVRC’s programming and implementation in specific counties and overall trends to be included
- Collection of county-specific challenges and required support that will input in GVRC’s future programming.