The Catholic Church and Schools in Kenya: A Historical Perspec tive on Education for Holistic Development. Part I: From the Colonial period to Foundations of an Education dispensation for Independent Kenya
Philomena, N. M.
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This is the first of a two part paper which attempts a critical analysis of the success of the mission of the Catholic Church to educate holistically in Kenya. The milieus discussed are the schools set up by Catholic missionaries, during the colonial period. The missionaries’ primary goal was evang elization; the schools were increasingly recognized as a preferred forum and strategy for reaching it. Many benefits to the foundation of Christian communities in Kenya were reaped from these Catholic schools. Regrettable however, in Catholic education in the colonial period, was the failure to mediate a concurrence of values between its missionary protagonists and the African families and communities, who, as partner educators of the recipients of Catholic education also had their own aims for the educati on of their children. Very often, there was little regard for the latter. The missionaries were recognized by the Africans as being distinct from the colonizers. Yet their attempt to play into the advantages of collusion with the colonial government at the service of their evangelizing goals led many Africans to a sense of betrayal for their course, and a fragmented approach to Christian commitment. While recognizing that the said fragmentation has other roots besides, the authors decry the shortness of vis ion because of which the Catholic schools have played into this liability whose damages are experienced in many other facets of the African community lives.