Developing ethical and democratic citizens in a post-colonial context: citizenship education in Kenya
Chege, Fatuma N.
Wainaina, Paul K.
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BackgroundYouth citizenship is now on the : international agenda with African countries increasingly interrogating their national perspectives on citizenship andcitizenship education. In this emergent field of research, African scholars arebeginning to challenge the prevailing (Western) theories of citizenship and democracy. PurposeThe aim of this paper is to contribute : an African perspective to the study of citizenship education by exploring the political influences and meanings that shaped citizenship education in Kenya, and how these have evolved from independence to the present day. Data and MethodsThis article is based on a : documentary analysis of key policy-related documents, complemented by an analysis of some critical historical moments in the life of Kenya as a postcolonial nation. The policy-related documents include government policy documents, as well as political statements, speeches, development reports, technical commission reports, media articles, research publications and reports, education syllabi and curriculum documents. Main Findings: Post-independence, the Kenyan government focused on rethinking the colonial concept of citizenship in line with its political–cultural traditions, encouraging new notions of belonging, of civic virtues and of duties in relation to nation-building and economic development. Social Ethics and Education (SEE) programmes in schools were established and then later removed from the secondary school curriculum. Conclusions: This paper yields important insights into the international and national political agendas that shape Kenya's notions of active citizenship. It indicates the tensions which vulnerable and fragile states such as Kenya experience in negotiating their citizenship education agenda, whilst attempting to win foreign investment and aid for their economy, and whilst addressing regional and ethnic inequalities and high levels of poverty.