If the Bomb Detection Curriculum Bill in parliament scales through second reading, then students in Kenya will become bomb detectors.
The bill seeks to reduce the risks posed to students by the disaster in schools and learning institutions by including bomb detection in the school curriculum for students. 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.
So, very soon, students in schools across Kenya will not be learning just mathematics, Science or Civic Education anymore. They will be learning how to detect bombs and ensure safety when faced with terror situations.
If the Bill is passed successfully, schools in the country will be compelled to teach learners about anti-terrorism, how to detect explosives and react in case of an attack.
According to a Kenyan media and News Agency, The Star, the bill was introduced by Turkana Woman Representative Joyce Emanikor. It seeks to reduce the risk posed by bombs, especially improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
The deadly Somali terror group al Shabaab has targeted Kenyan security forces, shopping malls, hotels and learning institutions using IEDs and other weapons in recent times.
The Star reports that Emanikor is hoping her Bill will provide students with a foundation to think fast, think ahead and prepare for deadly situations like the massacre at Garissa University.
If Bill is enacted into law, the 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.
It will incorporate personal safety, self-defense, demonstrations on security drills, first aid, detection and response to weapons and evacuation procedure in curriculum development," the bill reads.
It is being discussed in the Education Committee before it is taken back to the floor of the House for a second reading.
The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) will be tasked with the responsibility of developing the curriculum and learning materials to help reduce disaster risk.
The Bill received an endorsement from the Kenya Parents Association chairman, Nicholas Maiyo.
Speaking to The Star yesterday, Mr. Miayo noted that an anti-terrorism curriculum policy was long overdue and the Bill 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 training is required where.”
In the same vein, Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association chairman, Indimuli Kahi also welcomed the proposal but however 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 said yesterday.
He also called for proper allocation of funds and provision of learning materials.
When asked of his opinion, the Kenyan Education Committee chairman, Julius Melly said:
"Things like family disputes might seem a small thing and normal in some setups. But they greatly affect learners that's why there is a need to have a subject that will address such issues and help children grow informed on better ways to address and deal with situations."
It appears Kenya is on the verge of producing the youngest set of bomb detectors the world has ever seen.
Header Image Credit: Al Jazeera