• A psychologist argues that young people tend to absorb more of what they see than what they learn
• Technocrats propose mainstreaming values as a subject and giving visibility to learners and teachers with outstanding values
Education technocrats are developing cold feet over a possible miss in the ambitious plan to inculcate values and ethics in learners under the new curriculum.
The debate opens up a potential Pandora’s Box on how the government will develop responsible citizens amid a 'broken' society.
There is a view that Education is inherently about values; it reflects a vision of the world we want our children to inherit.
“Learning should go beyond technical skills and academic excellence… It should be a tool that develops a learner wholly including their ethical and moral status,” Director of National Values Andrew Biketi said on Tuesday.
The problem lies in the variation between what children are taught, the social circles influencing children and adolescent development.
Psychologist Nelly Muluka argues that young people tend to absorb more of what they see compared to what they learn.
The ripple effect of this is that they end up taking up bad habits such as corruption and bribery.
From 'Chai' to 'Kitu Kidogo', technocrats say bribery and corruption have grown to become fancy and something young people look up to.
This is supported by two parallel studies; one by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and a second one by the Aga Khan Institute.
EACC survey reveals that 70 per cent of people in the country has interacted with corruption.
The Aga Khan Foundation survey reveals that 50 per cent of youth has one way or another engaged in bribery and corruption.
The study also shows that 47 per cent of the youth admires the corrupt.
This is part of deliberations by the curriculum developer during a pre-conference deliberating on the place of values in the new curriculum.
The technocrats on Tuesday suggested mainstreaming values as a subject and give visibility to learners and teachers with outstanding values.
This will be through celebrating the teachers and students who stand out in the said values.
The new curriculum vision seeks to develop a learner to be an engaged, empowered and ethical citizen through nurturing every learner's potential.
The plan is to roll out a life skills lesson in primary school. It will not be an examinable subject.
However, in Junior Secondary and Senior Secondary, it will be introduced as a discipline by itself that will make part of the integral subjects learners will have to pursue.
According to the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, this is because learners at this level are faced with physical and mental changes as they hit puberty.
“Life skills will also be important in helping learners cope with emerging and contemporary issues that are on the rise such as lifestyle diseases and depression,” Grace Ngugi from KICD said on Tuesday.
Further, the technocrats suggested that values be inculcated in teachers through the introduction of value-learning areas in training colleges.
They further suggest that character be made an integral part of recruitment in schools and all other public sectors.
Edited by R.Wamochie