The surge in road accidents involving school buses has sparked concerns among education stakeholders in the country, who now assert that the primary cause is the non-adherence to regulations set by former Education Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang’i.

Some schools and universities, whose buses have been involved in accidents in recent days, include Kapsabet Boys High School, Kenyatta University, Moi University, among others.

On March 16, 2024, two individuals—a teacher and a student—lost their lives after a bus belonging to Kapsabet Boys High School overturned in the Patkawanin area along the Kabarnet-Marigat road.

Over 50 other students were injured in the accident.

Just two days later, on March 18, 2024—following the Kapsabet Boys High School accident—11 students from Kenyatta University perished in a tragic road accident that occurred in the Mackinnon area along the Nairobi-Mombasa highway.

The accident happened after the school bus collided head-on with a trailer.

On Wednesday, 12 students from Moi University sustained injuries after their bus was involved in an accident in the Kimende area along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.

Following the incident, the university announced the suspension of all academic trips.

In light of this alarming trend, education experts suggest that these incidents may be attributed to the institutions’ failure to adhere to regulations set by Dr. Matiang’i.

In an interview with Taifa Leo, former Nairobi County Education Minister, Ms. Muthoni Ouko, states that it is time for schools to evaluate the new implementation of these regulations.

“One of the requirements Dr. Matiang’i put in place is that students should not travel after 12 noon. However, it is regrettable that in some schools, teachers and students have been traveling at night, a situation that jeopardizes the lives of these young scholars,” she said.

She also notes that some schools have been renting out their buses to different individuals for various events, where the school management often neglects to ensure that these buses are inspected for any mechanical faults.

“Dr. Matiang’i also prohibited schools from renting out their buses or vehicles for use in different events. This is to ensure that these vehicles are not misused. However, this directive has been flouted,” she added.

According to Dr. Emmanuel Manyasa, an education expert, it is imperative for educational institutions to begin re-evaluating some of these regulations to ensure that students have no concerns when going on educational trips.

“These accident incidents undoubtedly affect students psychologically. It’s a situation that can instill fear in students, to the extent that some may hesitate to participate in educational trips in the future,” said Dr. Manyasa.