Kenya introduces curriculum on bomb detection as part of national strategy against terrorism
London, July 13, 2019 (AltAfrica)-A common and popular African proverb says when the beat changes, the dancing steps must follow suit. That aptly explains the current situation in Kenya. The Country has suffered its share of terrorism just like every other part of the world. Now Kenya is being proactive, taken every step to ensure every citizen, particularly the younger generation can protect themselves and others around them
According to a Kenyan media and News Agency, The Star, The East African country is developing a new national curriculum to include classroom education on bomb detection technique. Its a national strategy against disaster carnage which is always the aftermath of terrorism.
The initiative which comes at a time of increased Al-Shabab terrorist attacks in Kenya will amend the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) Act of 2013, Kenyan students will now learn how to detect bombs in a nationwide strategy to minimise casualties and combat terror attack. In Kenya, classroom is not just for Maths and Science anymore
Under the impending changes, Kenyan schools will be compelled to teach learners about anti-terrorism, how to detect explosives and react in case of an attack, if a Bill in Parliament is passed.
The Bill introduced by Turkana Woman Representative Joyce Emanikor seeks to reduce the risk posed by bombs, especially improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
These are bombs constructed and deployed in unconventional ways, frequently as roadside bombs.
Somali terror group al Shabaab has been targeting Kenyan security forces, shopping malls, hotels and learning institutions using IEDs and other weapons.
Emanikor is hoping her Bill will provide students with the foundation, basic knowledge to think fast, think ahead and prepare for deadly situations like the massacre at Garissa University.
If Bill is passed into law, school curriculum will be expanded to include lessons on drills, evacuations, first aid, how to locate explosives, how to sense danger and react, among other safety-related teachings.
The Kena Institute of Curriculum Development (Amendment ) Bill, 2019. It’s headed for its second reading.
It will ensure anti-terrorism lessons are taught but it does not specify at what level.
It will incorporate personal safety, self-defence, demonstrations on security drills, first aid, detection and response to weapons and evacuation procedure in curriculum development,” the bill reads.
As it is in law making business, the Bill is currently being discussed in the Education Committee before it is taken back to the floor of the House for a second reading.
The curriculum developer, KICD, will also be required to develop learning materials to help reduce disaster and risk.
Kenya Parents Association has welcomed the development. Its chairman Nicholas Maiyo said an anti-terrorism curriculum policy was long overdue and will go a long way in averting fatalities.
“So many things have been happening in our schools and despite parents’ uproar and concern, nothing much has been done… If the policy is adopted the Education ministry also needs to do a need assessment to see what (tacher) training is required where,” Maiyo told the Star yesterday.
So many things have been happening in our schools and despite parents’ uproar and concern, nothing much has been done… If the policy is adopted the Education ministry also needs to do a need assessment to see what (teacher) training is required where
In April 2015, one student died and 100 others injured at the University of Nairobi’s Kikuyu Campus following a stampede a power cable exploded. This caused panic among the students who were in their hostels.
The incident came days after a terror attack that claimed 148 lives at Garissa University the same month.
The same year, a member of staff at the Strathmore University died after a mock terror drill in the institution turned tragic.
In 2017, 10 learners perished at Moi Girls Secondary School in Nairobi after a night fire that razed one dormitory.
The changed curriculum is considered one way to curb unrest common in secondary schools.
Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association chairman Indimuli Kahi welcomed the proposal but cautioned that it needed to be taught within normal classroom lessons and possibly tested.
“We know that what is taught outside the curriculum in Kenya is not taken seriously and if it will be taught out of school work then we will lose it,” Kahi told the Star yesterday.
He also called for proper allocation of funds and provision of learning materials. A terrorism expert in London, Nicolas Mccain applauded the move by the Kenyan parliament. He told Alternativeafrica.com that “the thought of a terrorism education as a national strategy shows the seriousness of Kenya in tackling the scourge of terrorism on her door step” He believed that such approach will develop a national consciousness including assisting the police and other security with adequate information on any suspicious person or group of people
Mccain added that Kenyan government will have to also conduct training and re-training for the police and others as an integral part of the strategy
Its now very clear that the fear of Al-shabaab terrorist group is the beginning of wisdom and pro-active thinking in Kenya