The contribution of the Franciscan sisters of St.Joseph,Asumbi,to education in Kenya
Akoth, Sidter Dorothy
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The study focused on the contribution of the Franciscan Sisters of St Joseph (FSJ), Asumbi, to education in Kenya. Therefore, the study aimed first at establishing who the FSJ were, and their place in the contribution to education in Kenya. The background of the study, explaining the reasons for founding Religious Institutes in the ancient Christian History, was meant to authenticate the existence of the FSJ as a religious Institute with a mission to provide education where there was need. In followin~ some of the activities of the Catholic Missionaries of the late 19th and early 20t centuries, the study recognized the part played by the missionaries who trained the FSJ in the art of teaching, so as to become the educators that they became. Data was collected through interviews, questionnaire, observations, focus group discussions, written literature and story telling. The Franciscan Sisters of St Joseph were and are still involved in education in Primary and Secondary Schools, Colleges and Institutes of higher learning in six provinces, in Kenya. Samples of people working with FSJ in those centres of learning were selected. Other samples included neutral public who knew FSJ, District Education Officers of relevant Districts, and the FSJ former students. All these selections were purposively done in order to gain insights on the contribution the same sisters had made and were making to education in Kenya. The F.S.J. themselves were also asked to respond through interviews, questionnaires and written testimonials. The researcher communicated with all those thus selected making appointments for interviews or informing them about the questionnaire that they were to receive, whichever was relevant. The researcher worked with two assistants who, in turn, were assisted by a Franciscan Sister of St Joseph in each selected District. These administered the questionnaire, gave oral interviews, made observations and returned all these raw materials to the researcher for processing. The raw data was organized to ensure that it was relevant, factual and informative. This was done by eliminating unsuitable data, watching out for, and interpreting ambiguous answers, verifying and rejecting irrelevant responses. The resulting data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) to generate frequencies and percentages. All the findings of the study were reviewed and analyzed in line with the objectives of the study. The study revealed that the FSJ had substantively contributed to education in Kenya by participating in the actual teaching, addressing relevant educational issues, being conversant with the adverse issues facing the youth they were teaching and making attempts to address them; by giving holistic education, paying particular attention to the girl child, and economically, socially and educationally empowering Kenyan citizens for the life.