Sossion wants religion subjects to be compulsory

Kenya National Union of Teachers’ Secretary-General Wilson Sossion has suggested the integration of spiritual studies in the education curriculum to help tame cases of student unrest and promote value-based learning in schools.

Mr Sossion also said the making of religious subjects compulsory will instil discipline, especially in secondary schools.

“Religious studies, including Christian and Islamic studies, should be made compulsory in schools,” Mr Sossion said.

“The Ministry of Education should also ensure spiritual studies are incorporated in the education curriculum.”

In an interview with the Nation, the top unionist warned that any move by the government to deploy chaplains who are not teachers or in the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) payroll, to schools, will be a blunder. He said they must double as teachers.

Mr Sossion also asked the State, through the TSC, to employ more teachers of spiritual subjects such as Christian Religious Education before rolling out the plan.

He said the spiritual tutors should be vetted properly by TSC to ensure they are members of recognised religious outfits.

The call comes amid plans to post spiritual leaders to public secondary schools to boost discipline.

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i revealed the plans last week when he met the National Association of Christian Chaplains representatives.

During the meeting, the CS disclosed that chaplaincy will be entrenched in schools by January.

The chaplains are meant to help instil moral values, to curb incidents of unrest that last year led to loss of property valued at millions of shillings in schools countrywide.

A report on the unrests showed 483 incidents of student strife.

Of the 809 suspects arrested in connection with the arson attacks were 778 students and 31 teachers and support staff.

In 2016, Dr Matiang’i came under fire when he prohibited school administrators from holding prayer days for candidates sitting national examinations in third term.

He said the occasions were used as avenues for exchanging materials that aid cheating in KCPE and KCSE exams.

The CS was, at the time, criticised by a majority of Kenyans, who got the impression that he had banned praying for candidates altogether.

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