Respected clergyman – Ndingi Mwana a‘Nzeki, mourned
The head of the Catholic Church in Kenya, John Cardinal Njue, is on record saying fading values in the education system are linked to spiralling cases of suicide, sexual immorality and violence.
He also says the rising social and moral decadence can be attributed to parents not giving an ear to the youth, who then turn to the outside world for consolation and solutions.
Pointedly, Njue feels that parents and leaders must create a safe and friendly environment for young people to open up and discuss pressing issues.
These concerns of the Catholic Church, the largest denomination in the country, resonate with the promise by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to promote values through teaching and learning. The commission will train head teachers who will in turn be expected to pass the didactic value of these sessions to other teaching staff.
EACC has demonstrated willingness to partner with stakeholders to promote ethics and integrity, along with the stated mission to fight corruption.
It is heartening that the Catholic Church has said it is ready to partner with the authorities to help address such challenges, as depression among youth, gangsterism, suicides and truancy continue to affect their self-fulfilment and development.
It is poignant that the Church has seen the need to speak out about these issues as it has established and continues to sponsor thousands of schools across the country. And as a key stakeholder in the education sector and custodian of society’s morals, the Catholic Church is in a unique position to play a significant part in the search for solutions.
The move to train staff on ethics and corruption as well as the establishment of integrity clubs in schools will no doubt go a long way in helping inculcate a sense of better judgement for youth. This will eventually translate into better sense of values, with a deliberate effort to eschew shenanigans that ultimately bring society down.
It has been noted that the 8-4-4 system of education focused too much on content while its graduates were deficient in social skills. It is time these challenges were addressed and redressed, with an eye on producing all-rounded characters, who pursue academics while remaining well-grounded on matters of morality and ethics.