Challenges Facing Urban Christian Church-sponsored Schools: a Case of St. Peter Claver’s Catholic Primary School, Nairobi County
The purpose of the study was to investigate pertinent problems facing urban Christian Church-sponsored schools with a focus on St. Peter Claver‟s Catholic Primary School in Nairobi County. The investigation is anchored on the millieu of the Roman Catholic Church‟s contribution towards a holistic education in the society. Based on the above premises, it is inferred that the Church managed to spread her wings countrywide particularly on the strength of the traditional spiritual methods, community services and high standards of education in the country. Their commendable organization structure is felt from the grass root to the national level since the Church takes education as one of her core ministry. It is worth acknowledging that the Church has contributed a lot on socio-economic growth of education but their efficiency in management of some public sponsored schools more so urban one is problematic. The main goal of the study was to investigate the challenges that urban Christian Church sponsored schools encounter using a case of St. Peter Claver‟s Catholic Primary School in Nairobi County. The specific objectives are as follows:to identify the challenges facing St Peter Claver‟s Primary School; to examine the role-interface of the Ministry of Education and the School‟s sponsors for holistic development of pupils; and to assess methods and strategies for addressing challenges that are encountered by the School. The work‟s main hypothesis was that a proper examination of problems facing St Peter Claver‟s Primary school contributed toward the integration of management of school between the ministry and the Christian Church-sponsors for a better learning outcome. The study was specifically hypothesized as follows: the challenges facing urban Christian Church-sponsored schools are a reality and therefore impedes on service delivery and performance in St Peter Claver‟s Primary School; there is harmony and synergy between the Ministry of Education and the Church-sponsor in quest for a holistic development in St. Peter Claver‟s Primary School and, the Ministry of Education and the Christian Church-sponsor in a concerted effort have addressed the imminent challenges and provided a way forward on Education policy making, implementation and much needed reforms for a holistic development. The hypotheses of the study are to identify the existential challenges, mutual roles between the government and the sponsor and appropriate methods on addressing the challenges in management and administration of education.To achieve the above three inter-dependent theories were used. These theories include Social Learning Theory of Bandura, Mediation theory of Boff and Boff and Redaction Criticism Theory as propagated by Biblical scholars such as Bornkamm, Marxsen, Käsemann and Conzelmann in Collin‟s book titled Introduction to New Testament. The study applied systematic simple sampling, purposive and snowball. The work could not be complete without primary data and the secondary data rich with information that informed the study. The qualitative and quntitave approaches are blended though with emphasis on the former. The study identifies the challenges that impede a holistic development and management of education in light of St. Peter Claver Catholic Primary School. That notwithstanding, the involvement of other valuable stakeholders such as the government, parents, community, teachers and the pupils in their quest to solving the challenges cannot be wished away. The role interface of the government and the Church-sponsor is key to harmonious management and administration of education between the two major partners. Historical educational reforms for development illuminate the relationship between the government and the sponsor. To avert the conflicting misconception of pitting the Church against the government on matters of governance and input in education, the study identifies and explicates their respective roles and their nexus for the purposes of complementarity seeking the appropriate strategies in addressing the issue suggesting useful solutions to the challenges. Among the study to enhance efficiency and meaningful participation in educational development, the Church as a sponsor of the school has the obligation to invest in the infrastructure of the school. It is embedded in the Basic Education Act 2013 and Roman Catholic Church Education Policy. The study identified that the public Church-sponsored schools have suffered development neglect for a long time. This will go a long way in clearing the grey areas regarding the responsibilities of the government and the Church-sponsor. It is advisable for sponsor to remain relevant and live to the meaning of partner in education; they have to make a serious infrastructural input to the schools they sponsor. Failure to invest has had serious ramification of the development, management and administration of Church-sponsored schools. Awareness is also created that a holistic charater development of the the pupils should be implimented. Spiritual development is one of the key strands of development hence it is to clearly be articulated in our dynamic and pluralistic religious society. While the policy of the government underscores the value of exercising with care on those who do not belong to the same faith affiliation, respecting the identity and tradition of the sponsoring church, the window of freedom of worship entrenched in the Constitution (2010) exacerbate possible negative emotional and spiritual impact. Further to this, the study disclosed that the security of the pupils at St. Peter Claver‟s Catholic Primary School is paramount. In addition, the study recommends a concerted effort from all education partners using the right strategy to inform education management policy, sponsor‟s action and education reforms for growth is called for.
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