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Varsity seeks partnership with school heads

Mount Kenya University is exploring a partnership with the Kenya Heads of Secondary School Association (KHSSA) to train students and teachers on importance of cultural diversity and societal harmony.

Speaking during this year’s KHSSA meeting in Mombasa, Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Student Welfare, Alumni and Marketing Affairs Prof. Chegge-Mungai said this will be a bold step towards enhancing peace.

In recent times, the Kenyan society has been torn apart by tribalism, one of the resultant causes of the 2007 post-election violence.
“It is evident that teachers and especially heads of secondary schools need to be equipped to perform roles that promote cohesion among the Kenyan people,” said Prof Chegge in his presentation Titled The Role of Heads of Secondary Schools in National Cohesion. “We welcome partnership with the Kenya Heads of Secondary School Association especially in working towards building a society in which there is a sense of belonging by all communities; a society in which the diversity of peoples background and circumstances is appreciated and valued, a society in which similar life opportunities are available to all and a society in which strong and positive relationships exist and continue to be developed in the workplace, in school county and country.”

Prof Chegge said children go to schools to learn, be taught or moulded to be good/patriotic Kenyans.  “The school environment should therefore be made conducive not only to learning but to shaping the students attitude and behavior.” He added that the school curricula should promote spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils for responsibilities and experience of later life. “Schools have a duty to eliminate any form of discrimination – religious/ethnic and promote equality of opportunity and good relations between different groups of people – thus promoting cohesion.”

Prof Chegge said that quality education and training have a role to play in enhancing this cohesion, adding that MKU is an example of an institution that has embraced diversity.
“We promote not only national but also international cohesion.” MKU students come from as far as Korea, West Africa, Southern Africa and East Africa. The university does not allow tribal association but encourages clubs that promote academic/social development.

Quality has been the backbone of all academic programmes offered at MKU. Prof Chegge said that quality education:  

  1.  Fosters peace, harmony and cohesion
  2.  Fights environmental degradation
  3.  Encourages fair trade and reduces poverty
  4. Discourages marginalization of women and girls inter alia

The don challenged the teachers to ponder on the following:

  1. Do our students get the necessary skills or knowledge that would train them to appreciate our human diversity?
  2. Does the Curriculum encourage them to develop positive attitudes towards each other?
  3. Do the teachers’ pedagogical skills foster/promote cohesion?
  4. What role to teachers especially head teachers play in promoting, cohesion, reconciliation or the healing process of the people.


KHSSA conference sees over 7,000 teachers converge to address issues regarding their profession and beyond. Two years ago, MKU Founder and Chairman Simon N. Gicharu wowed the delegates with a timeless piece on self-actualisation.

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