KENYA: Ensure Learning Environments are Safe, Cardinal Njue tells Catholic Principals

NAIROBI AUGUST 13, 2019 (CISA)- John Cardinal Njue, the Archbishop of Nairobi has called on Catholic Schools’ principals, parents and stakeholders in the education system to ensure a safe learning environment.

“As leaders and parents of evangelization in our schools, we need to ensure that the environments are safe, friendly, inspiring, and encouraging for young people to open and share what is troubling their hearts… Such an environment promotes the well-being of young people,” Cardinal Njue said.

He was speaking today, Tuesday August 13 at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, as he officially opened the 6th edition of the Catholic Schools Principals Conference (CaSPA) themed: “Raising our Voices Safeguarding all Children our Responsibility”.

“The Catholic Church desires that the children and the young people in our schools are nurtured in order to meaningfully experience the caring love of Jesus Christ,” Cardinal Njue said.

The Cardinal noted that the youth experience prevailing challenges hindering the full experience of joy, including: violence, sexual immorality, drugs and alcohol, depression and suicide, unavailability of adults and inadequate reasoning to their needs.

“I appeal to you as collaborators in Christ church to move courageously towards enhancing in the young people the values for sacredness of life, peaceful coexistence, sacredness of sex and the value of the family units. I have no doubt that you have the capacity to lead our school communities into realizing these values,” he said.

Rt. Rev. Paul Kariuki Njiru, Chairman of the Commission for Education and Religious Education said he hoped that through the discussion during the conference, most of the challenges the youth face will be addressed with clear resolutions for implementation by all the schools.

“The status of young people in our country is designed with many safety challenges including school girls’ pregnancies, gangsters, sexual immorality, cyber bullying, depression, suicide, and other general indiscipline.”

“The catholic church raises great value on human dignity, sanctity of life and moral living. It is therefore very important for us to strategize on how our young people can embrace and practice these values,” Rev Kariuki said.

“We are all aware of the rising mental disorders among young people suicide violence behavior thus the need of holistic formation guided by the catholic principals edition and other objectives of CASPA as well as national goals of education,” he added.

During the event several teachers were recognized for their excellent performance in the year including: Bro Peter Tabichi, Global Teacher Award Winner; Ms Catherine Wanjiiu Mune, ICT Teacher of the Year Award (TOYA) 2019 Winner; Jane Wacheke Kimiti, Principal of the Year Award (POYA) 2019 winner; and Mr Fredrick Shikuku Shitubi TOYA 2019 Winner.

Among the guests were Education Secretaries Representatives from all the 47 Counties. A similar conference for Catholic school heads and managers is ongoing in Zambia at Emmaus Spirituality center in Lusaka.  According the Zambia Episcopal Conference, Bishop Charles Kasonde of Solwezi says the Catholic Bishops will engage the government on the directive that all schools reduce fees.