Mental health, cybercrime new threats to learners’ safety

Mental health, cybercrime new threats to learners’ safety

Mental health, cybercrime new threats to learners’ safety

The Ministry of Education is warning the public about new dangers that could endanger students’ lives, interfere with their education, and even compel some of them to drop out.

According to a government paper, cybercrime, mental health challenges, and climate change are pressing problems that need immediate response.

The National Education Sector Strategic Plan 2023–2027 is the document that will serve as the sector’s five-year roadmap.

Ezekiel Machogu, the cabinet secretary for education, introduced it last week.

The long-standing issues of drug and alcohol addiction, HIV, insecurity, radicalization and extremism, drought, and even floods are also listed as risks to the education system.

Learning was negatively impacted by floods in March and April. Schools were forced to close for two weeks due to the country’s heavy rainfall.

In order to address these issues, the ministry now intends to mainstream a number of projects into the curriculum.

It seeks to equip learners with the knowledge, skills, and values needed to build a sustainable future and help curb the menace of climate change.

According to the document, the plan is to include climate-friendly solutions in schools by incorporating climate change education in the curriculum.

‘‘The climate change crisis will be addressed within the broader education for sustainable development framework and will entail interventions such as greening, sustainable waste management, recycling and carbon reductions,’’ the document reads.

This comes at a time the government plans to launch climate-friendly cooking technology for the school feeding programme.

The technology will involve the use of steam cookers rather than firewood that has traditionally been used.

Another area of concern is the management of alcohol, drug, and substance use. Authorities have warned that schools and homes are now the leading contributing areas that learners are likely to have an encounter with drugs and alcohol.

The ministry’s interventions will target the factors that make students susceptible to substance abuse.

The plan also tackles the rising cases of non-communicable diseases, mental health issues, and HIV infections among students, teachers, and adolescents. 

It acknowledges the detrimental effects of these circumstances on learning outcomes and places a strong emphasis on early detection and preventive strategies.

The statement states that “the inspection of non-communicable diseases, including mental health and psycho-social issues that impact learning outcomes, will be the primary focus of prevention and management efforts.”

The ministry also aims to address issues including child marriage, teen pregnancy, and gender-based and sexual abuse that are linked to gender and education hurdles.
Global citizenship and peace education also surface as additional areas of interest. The goals of this project are to advance peace, social integration, and a feeling of global citizenship.

Because educational institutions are now subject to risks of radicalization and extremism, it gives students, instructors, parents, and other individuals the power to stop these things from happening.

Student empowerment will improve effective responses to these threats as well as prevention and detection. A kid safety and protection program will be used to carry out this project, according to the document.

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