Education and the problem of moral values: the case of Kenya
Gichure, Christine Prof.
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At the beginning of 2008, Kenya was rocked by a deadly wave of sectarian violence that was sparked off by a dispute over results of December 2007's general elections. During these weeks of anarchy , we saw people who had lived peaceably together for many years take up crude weapons against their neighbours, hacking some to death, injuring scores of others, rendering hundreds of thousands homeless and destroying property worth millions of shillings. The most horrendous incident is a case where elderly men, women and children died after a church they had sought sanctuary in was set ablaze by marauding gangs. This was proof that the worst of human passions had taken over; where hatred, vengeance; murderous instincts and sadism reigned supreme. But whereas it may have been only a fraction of Kenyan society th at engaged in this mayhem, it is safe to say that the actions of that fraction reflect the overall moral bankruptcy of our society today . This view is corroborated by what followed on the heels of the post-election violence , where a new wave of mayhem erupted in our schools in the form of student unrest that also caused its fair share of destruction through arson and murder. These events lead us to ask at least two pertinent questions, namely ; were the people behind these depraved activities , be they leaders or followers, acting as free men? Free, not in the sense of physical bondage to someone else but rather free in the sense of having a mental capacity to understand the import of their actions on the basic principles of human good? And in their actions, were these people really being guided by their conscience as human beings? By conscience we mean the human faculty that appeals to reason, and which is capable of guiding human beings in pursuing the good and eschewing evil. If these actors can give affirmative answers to these questions, then we can only conclude they acted out of sheer malice . But if, on the other hand, doubt can be cast on how free they were in their actions, then we can assume their actions were not executed with malice aforethought, but probably out of ignorance.