The role of Christian Religious Education in transmitting moral values among secondary school students in Mathioya District in Murang’a County, Kenya
Kamau, Mary Waithira
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The moral standing and general conduct of the Kenyan secondary school student in the wider society has been dropping in the recent past. The morals of the secondary school graduates in colleges and society do not reflect the acquisition and practice of values learnt through Christian Religious Education (CRE). This study was, therefore, designed to assess the role of CRE in the transmission of moral values to the learners in secondary schools. The objectives of the study were: to establish the effectiveness of secondary school CRE syllabus in the transmission of moral values to learners; to find out how moral beliefs of CRE students are expressed in their behaviour; to establish the methods that CRE teachers use to transmit moral values to secondary school students; and to establish the views of both teachers and students concerning the role of CRE subject in the development of moral values in secondary schools. The study was guided by two theories; elaboration likelihood theory of persuasion that explains how attitudes are formed and changed and Kohlberg‟s theory of moral reasoning. The study used descriptive survey design. The study was conducted in Mathioya District in Muranga County in Kenya. The target population for the study was the 28 secondary schools in Mathioya District. The eligible respondents included 56 CRE teachers, 28 heads of discipline and 1180 Form III students in the 28 secondary schools making a total of 1264 possible respondents. Simple random sampling was used to select the 142 respondents who participated in the study. Information was collected by use of self administered questionnaires and face-to-face interview. The data were analyzed using frequency distribution tables, percentages, and bar graphs. The study found that students‟ moral development was greatly influenced by: CRE syllabus; moral belief of the students; and the methods used by secondary school CRE teachers. The study, therefore, recommends that: teachers should cultivate an atmosphere of trust and act as role models; parents should create conducive home environment for the child‟s upbringing; CRE should be made a compulsory subject in secondary schools; school administration should ensure that school rules are seriously followed and educators, especially quality assurance officers, should make visits to the schools to ensure that teachers use learner-centered methods.