As a wave of unrest hit schools across the country, different administrators came up with ways to avert the crisis, but many didn’t crack the nut and contain the situation.
Wilson Achoko, the principal of Barwesa Secondary School in Baringo County opted to don the school uniform, in a bid to tame the unruly behaviour of students, which he claims, worked.
Speaking to the press on Tuesday Achoko stated that when his students burnt down the school in 2020, he was desperate to keep the students in school, and make himself easily approachable.
He now says that he doesn’t regret turning to the school uniform, because the move has helped tame tension and indiscipline cases in the school, and improved interaction among the students and teachers.
“I decided to wear a school uniform because it makes the students much closer to me. Initially, students never came to the office. But when I started putting on the uniform, they became very close to me.
“I also decided to maintain an open door policy which makes them very free. They tell me all the issues they have and it becomes very easy to solve them.
“When students see you come down to their level, they feel very happy and at peace,” Achoko remarked.
The principal proceeded to say that the burning of a girl’s dormitory in 2020 was a wake up call for him since even some students were aware of it, but never tried to reach out to the teachers.
“Burning down of the school in 2020 was a wake up call to me, because I later learnt that there were students who were aware that the incident was being planned, but they never reached out to us. That is when I knew there was a need to bridge the gap between the administration and the students,” he stated.
Achoka says that besides wearing uniforms and applying an open door policy, they have come up with suggestion boxes where students can send anonymous messages to the administration on any matter affecting them.
The principal noted that as a result, they have been able to register better results, with the school’s mean score rising.
“The school has been doing very well. We have been performing so well and in 2020, we made history in Baringo by sending 21 students to the university,” he stated.
Achoko further advised other school heads to bridge the gap between the students and the administration, saying that it is a possible way of taking unrest in schools.