Effect of Communication Practices on Crisis Preparedness in Public Secondary Schools in Kapenguria Sub County, Kenya
Communication has been recognised as one of the most important requirements in communicating emergency and crisis situations to all stakeholders in schools. This is because crisis situations can cause social and emotional distress to stakeholders within the school at any time without warning, and in such situations, communication is needed to ensure those affected are informed on what is happening or what needs to happen. The aim of this paper was to examine the effect of communication practices on crisis preparedness in public secondary schools in Kapenguria Sub County, Kenya. The study was anchored on situational crisis theory. The study used a descriptive research design. The target population consisted of 36 principals and 368 teachers. A sample of 36 principals and 196 teachers were selected to participate in the research through a simple random sampling technique. Data collected was analysed in qualitative and quantitative form. The communication approach used in most schools was top-bottom with less than 25.0% being diagonal/horizontal. Active crisis communication preparedness was found to be working as a guidance and counselling programme. Nevertheless, the majority of respondents said that crisis communication preparedness was significant in ensuring information was shared with all stakeholders and the damages occasioned by crisis breakout would be minimised. The study concluded that communication has a significant effect on crisis preparedness in public secondary schools in Kapenguria Sub-County. The study recommends that school stakeholders need to be trained on the importance of communication in crisis preparedness and management
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