Kenya: church pledges to resist secularisation in schools

 The Catholic Church in Kenya will resist any move by the government to remove church sponsorship in schools, or downplay pastoral teaching programs in the school curriculum, a local Catholic bishop has stated. Addressing the Diocesan World Catholic Education Day at Cathedral Grounds in Murang'a, on 3 June, Bishop Peter Kihara said: "there have been some moves within the country's Ministry of Education to remove church sponsorship of schools within the current educational system, through some commissions which have already been carried out." Some of these commissions have also recommended actions, which if implemented, would downplay the role of pastoral teachings in both primary and secondary levels, Bishop Kihara told the audience, which included parents, diocesan education officers, some government education officers, pupils and students. The Catholic Church has been a pioneer in the institution and promotion of education in Kenya, dating back to the early missionary days, he said. "It will resist any move to have it kicked like this" stressed Bishop Kihara, who is also chairman of the Bishops' Seminaries Commission. Pastoral teachings also play an important role in instilling moral and spiritual discipline among young people; he said, therefore any move to "downplay" it would also be resisted by the church. Bishop Kihara urged teachers in schools to continue to assist the Church instil good morals and discipline in the minds of the young growing generation, stressing that: "apart from the physical achievements, the mind of young people equally needs the moral and spiritual riches." This year's conference theme was Teach A Mind, Touch A Soul.