The harmony between ethnic and national feelings as a philosophical foundation for unity in education
Mburu, James Ndungu
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There has been in Kenya a continued call to enhance national spirit, namely, that feeling which override2 all tribal loyalties. This call entails a paradox in that every Kenyan is a member of a nation and, at the same time f a member of a tribe. He has two polar identities and two subsequent feelings, one towards the nation and the other towards the tribe. This thesis is meant to offer a solution to this paradox. I have started by portraying the ethnic feeling. To this effect, I have identified and examined four cardinal virtues that characterize this feeling. These are concern, courage, respect, and gratitude. The four virtues are identified and examined as practised by the four ethnic communities: concern as practised by the Kikuyu; courage, by the Nandi i respect, by the Samburu and gratitude, by the Giriama. , The four communities have been chosen due to these two reasons. First, they portray a wide coverage in that they are located at different parts of Kenya: at the central, at the west, at the north, and at the south. They thus give a more representative and detailed picture of Kenya. Second, they portray a cultural variety in that each of them uses a different language; observes different customs; and exhibits a different world-view. This variety contributes to a deeper understanding of the ethnic feeling. I have then come to portray the national feeling. Out of the four phenomena of the tribal feeling, I have come to establish a common element. This element is that of a will, namely, an orientation to a world that; is more concerned, more courageous, more respectful, and more grateful. After portraying the tW0 feelings, I have come to establish their relation. I have proved that there exists a dialectic relation, that is, a dialogue between them. The will, previously established, forms the principle of this dialogue. First, the will distinguishes the two feelings by making them separate and specific. Second, the will harmonizes the two feelings by making them united and complementary. Third, the will pervades the two feelings by making them alternate with each other. This metaphysical will as the principle of the dialogue is then utilized for the understanding of unity as an aim of education in Kenya. Unity as an aim of education in Kenya is fraught with contradictions and inconsistencies in that at one time nation is given as the ultimate principle and at another time tribe is given as the ultimate principle. It is the contention of the thesis that this principle has not yet been clarified, justified, and established. I have taken it my duty to clarify, justify, and establish it. I have done this in two areas. The first in that of unity in its aspect of national unity and the second is that of unity in its aspect of personal unity. As regards the first, I have taken one of the educational policy documents, namely, the Ominde Report (1964-65). I have identified the principle for unity in education as given in this document. This principle is that of 'the psychological basis of nationhood'. I have gone to clarify, justify, and establish this basis against the background of the metaphysical will. As regards the second area, I have taken another educational policy document, namely, the Gacathi Report (1976). I have identified the principle for the unity in education as given in this document. This principle is that of 'return to the tradition'. I have gone to clarify, justify, and establish this basis against the background of the metaphysical will. 'The thesis then concludes by .identifying a relation between the nation and various ethnic communities in the country. This relation rejects absolutism which extols national feeling at the expense of the ethnic feeling. This relation also rejects sectionalism which extols the ethnic feeling at the expense of the national feeling. Nationa1 unity, consists in the unity, namely, harmony' of these two feelings.