Jaslika tested its rapid safety, health and environment risk assessment initiative on 27th March 2019. On invitation from the principal, a team consisting of two environment and education experts from Jaslika visited a public secondary school in the Central region of Kenya towards the end of Term 1. The name of the school principal and the school shall remain anonymous consistent with our confidentiality and ethics policy.
The rapid assessment combined two methodologies: First, we held informal discussions with representatives of the school’s Board of Management. Second, we did open ended observations carried out through a school walkabout. The school walkabout enabled the team to survey the school environment and facilities. Based on these, we provided feedback to the school on potential risks to the school community, and made specific recommendations for the school Board to consider.
Our feedback and recommendations focused on the following:
Safe removal and disposal of asbestos
Safe water sources, including the use of boreholes and rain water harvesting
Safe and sustainable waste management
In our report, we strongly recommend the use of a holistic approach in addressing the above issues. A holistic approach as articulated in the Jaslika SHE Framework looks at safety, health and environmental sustainability as:
Inter-related, interdependent and as reinforcing one another
Everyone’s concern - individually and collectively
Grounded on quality education, defined broadly to include both in-school and out-of-school interventions
Value-based, building on the values of respect and accountability.
Finally, we reiterate the importance of engaging the whole school community in sustainable measures and incorporate these measures into the teaching subjects as well as co- and extra- curricular activities. Such an approach will make all members of the school community (learners, teaching and non-teaching staff) take pride in their environment and facilitate ownership of the process and outcomes, The kind of learning promoted through the SHE approach is compatible with the Competency-based Curriculum, and more specifically will contribute to the Community Service Learning component as students will be able to acquire new knowledge and skills that they will be able to transfer to the catchment community as well as to their homes though outreach activities.