Chaplaincy and Behaviour Change of Students in Church Sponsored Public Secondary Schools in Siaya County, Kenya
Otieno, John Obiero
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Many learning institutions around the world have endeavored to develop chaplaincy in the past decades. Literature reviewed however reveals that education systems in African countries and more specifically Kenya have been overburdened by rote learning which negates the real purpose of education that is to address secular, religious and ethical concerns coherent with world view. This denies an educational system a broader and inclusive approach to develop holistic students. This study was based on Structural Functionalism and Social Disintegration theories developed by Emile Durkheim that gave insight to the contributing factors for delinquency among students. Correspondingly, pilot study was carried out and feedback obtained was used to correct research instruments that were afterwards used to collect data in the field. Likewise, a descriptive survey design was utilized to analyze data both qualitatively and quantitatively using a computer software packages, SPSS version 22 and Microsoft Office excel 2007. The analyzed data revealed that a considerable number of learners were affected by cases boy-girl relationships, pregnancies, abortions, homosexuality, examination malpractices as well as drugs and substance abuse. Coupled with weak chaplaincy structures and nonchalant attitude in the society, many students were sometimes overwhelmed with stressful situations such as anger, revenge and suicidal thoughts thus distorting their moral reasoning. These occurrences also contributed to systematic declining of intra-psychic and social development of students. The study similarly revealed major challenges that inhibit school chaplains in their attempt to socially and spiritually develop students. To start with, majority of chaplains conducted their church services in schools’ dining hall once a week without the necessary church equipment. This minimized students’ participation and active involvement in chaplaincy activities. In the same way, there was no any instituted body at the sub-county level mandated to supervise, guide or tackle issues related to chaplaincy. Therefore, the researcher concluded that chaplaincy activities are based on chaplains’ own judgment, doctrines and traditions of the church sponsors that is contrary to chaplaincy principles. Therefore, church in conjunction with educational stake-holders need to work together to develop a joint chaplaincy curriculum to enable chaplains to carry out their responsibilities in a more structured manner. Finally, it is the objective of the study to contribute to the ever increasing intellectual debate on the area of chaplaincy in the world and particularly in Africa.