National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) Chairman Francis Ole Kaparo
Students who have completed secondary school are more likely to accept people from other ethnic communities than university graduates, it has emerged.
Top public university management teams were shocked to learn that tolerance levels of students who pass through their institutions are very low – at only 11 per cent.
According to the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), this is only three per cent higher than tolerance levels of persons who did not attend primary school at all.
Commission chairman Francis ole Kaparo said secondary school tolerance levels are higher but still too little.
Mr Kaparo said those who went through secondary school but did not finish have tolerance levels of 14 per cent, while those who finished registered 34 per cent.
“This is still very low because 34 per cent is still below 50 per cent. And this means that a lot of work still needs to be done across all education levels,” he said.
He said those who go through university and fail to finish have higher tolerance levels – 14 per cent– compared to graduates.
“The universities must know that there is something they are not doing right because everyone expects that the exposure that comes with university education should make one more tolerant,” said Kaparo.
Making a presentation to a meeting of public university vice chancellors, chancellors and councils yesterday, Kaparo said it was shocking that every university had ethnic groups and clubs.
“Why can’t they convert those clubs into district/sub-county or county clubs where more than one community is represented?” said Kaparo.
The NCIC data seen by The Standard also shows those who never went to school have the least tolerance levels towards persons from other communities.
It says Kenyans who never went to school at all have a tolerance level of seven per cent.
Those who went to primary school but never completed their education have the same tolerance level.
This means that those who have not gone to primary education and those who failed to finish find it difficult to accept persons from other ethnic communities.
Kaparo said high levels of unemployment, especially among the youth, longstanding land and boundaries disputes, perceived marginalisation and poor resource distribution were major causes of social instability.