Edward Maina Andafu and Enose M.W. Simatwa
This research paper offers a critique of the Kenyan system of education. Our interest will be focused on a philosophical search for an education that will realize the objectives of this system of education. To facilitate this, we shall try to come up with a clear conception of education. To this effect, we have to adopt a holistic education, an education that integrates man and society. This point to the role of education as liberating both the mind and the body. It has to make the learner be aware of his potential as a human being and in a positive, life enhancing relationship with himself, others and his environment. Education should enable man use circumstances rather than be used by them. Education provided in our schools must serve the purposes of our country. It must encourage the development of a proud, independent and free individual who relies upon himself for his own development. Besides, it has to prepare the youth to play a dynamic and constructive role in the development of the society they live. Granted with these attributes, then education should foster the development in each individual of three things; an enquiring mind, an ability to learn from what others do, and reject or adopt it to his own needs and a basic confidence in his own position as a free and equal member of the society, who values others and is in turn valued by them. With reference to our current system of education, it can be deduced that it has fallen short of the above. It is restricted to schooling, overemphasizing the cognitive dimension of education. Its terminal objective is for examination purposes. Other attributes of the learner are not adequately catered for, and for this purpose, it has encountered controversies about its authenticity. In an attempt to offer an alternative education, this study has adopted the Freirian concept of education. Here, education is perceived to be the intersubjective process of becoming critically aware of one’s reality in a manner that leads to effective action upon it. This implies that education is a humanizing enterprise in which both the learner and the teacher are subjects on equal footing. We therefore reject the teacher-centred process of education, which reduces the learner to a mere object. We equally reject the student – centred approach which denies the intersubjective nature of education. Instead we embrace the dialogical approach in education, which will not only ensure an intersubjective encounter but also create critical consciousness between the two subjects.
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