Development of secular education in South Kavirondo district of Kenya: the case of Government African schools Kisii (1934-1963)
Ombati, Victor Fredrick
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This thesis discusses the development of secular education in South Kavirondo District of colonial Kenya. However before doing that, an examination has been made of the role of the Christian missionaries in the introduction of formal western education in South Kavirondo, Kisiiland in particular. The study shows that modern western education in South Kavirondo was introduced and shouldered for a long period of time by the Roman Catholic Mill Hill and Seventh Day Adventist missionaries. The chief aim of these Christian missionary groups was to convert the African into Christianity. Hence these Christian missionaries used formal education as a means, of propagating the Christian gospel. Besides religious education in reading, writing and basic elements of arithmetic, this thesis shows that Africans in the mission schools were subjected to vocational education by the colonial government education policies on the ground that through vocational education, idleness, laziness and helplessness which Africans were said to be suffering from could be eradicated. Vocational education was also seen as a means of promoting the virtues of self discipline, punctuality, self reliance, responsibility and humility which the Africans were said to be lacking. The thesis reveal that when Africans became dissatisfied with the type of education they were subjected to in the mission schools through the Local Native Councils which were inaugurated in 1925, they collected and voted money for the establishment of Government African School Kisii in 1934. With the establishment of this school, a new era of literary or secular education was ushered into the district. The thesis also shows that with the excellent academic and extra curricular performance staged by the Government African School Kisii, the mission schools in South Kavirondo were in turn forced to improve their performance making them able to compete with Government African School Kisii. Besides discussing the social economic contribution of the school in the period under review, the study has recommended other areas for further study or investigation.