The Contribution of the Methodist Missionaries to the Development of Education in Igembe Region of Meru County, Kenya: 1920-2010
Itobi, Francis N.
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The aim of this study was to investigate the contribution of the Methodist missionaries to the development of education in Igembe region of Meru County, from 1920 to 2010. In an effort to address this theme, the study addressed a number of issues. First, the study tried to find out what were the key factors that motivated. the Methodist missionaries to introduce formal Western education in Igembe region. Second, it examined the challenges faced by the Methodists in this endeavour. Third, it explored the partnership role that existed between the local community, the church and the government in education development and fourth, the impact of western education to the people of Igembe. This study being historical in nature used a historical research methodology. It used both primary and secondary sources of data. Primary sources of data consulted included oral interviews of the early teachers and students from Methodist schools as well as the Methodist Church and community leaders. To get the respondents, purposive sampling and snowballing techniques were employed, where it was only the people with the information pertaining to the issue at hand were consulted .. Other primary sources used included archival documents, either personal or institutional such as conespoadences, minutes of meetings and colonial annual government reports. The main secondary sources used were books, newspapers, unpublished theses and dissertations. The data collected were mainly qualitative and narrative in nature to describe the findings of the study. The main findings of the study were that, the contribution of the Methodist Church on education development in Igembe was immense and the Church partnered with the local community and the government for its success. Further, the findings of the study gave a general overview of education development in Igembe region and this will help one to understand more deeply the development of education in our country through the Methodist Church. This will help to enrich our history with reference to development of western education in Kenya. The study has recommended that every school should be encouraged to document her history 00 its origin and development to preserve her rich heritage. The study also recommends that since Igembe region was evangelized by other missionary groups who took the education of Africans as an important aspect of evangelization, it is imperative to document the contribution of other churches such as the Catholic and Independent African Pentecostal Churches on development of Western Education in Igembe region