“Today we have a weakness in our educational process in failing to understand the natural associations between the disciplines. We tend to study all our disciplines in unrelated parallel lines. This tends to be true in both Christian and secular education.” (Francis Schaeffer – Escape from Reason)
The schizophrenic worldview that creates dysfunctional individuals and communities is as a result of a philosophical lapse that is both fictitious and deliberately untrue. The unfortunate reality is that this is as a result of pretentious and non-acceptance by both groups in the great intellectual divide, namely the secular-humanist scientists and the religious buffs.
As Francis Schaeffer observes in his treatise, “Escape to Reason,” on St. Aquinas’ philosophical motif of unifying the arts and the sciences with the religious revelation. The refusal to give room and empirically evaluate the need for the unification of disciplines; is what practically creates a disjointed socio-cultural creature that seeks extremes; extremes in humanistic sensuality and religious fanaticism.
That the secularists are more averse to the embracing of religious paradigm as opposed to the religious humanists who embrace traces of secularism is the weakness of secularists and secularism. This is because, while secularist are intolerant to religious opinions, it is interesting to note that the so-called religious buffs are more tolerant to secularism than the secularists would have us believe.
This discrepancy in not building a synergy between the so-called sciences and religious beliefs unfortunately, denies humanity a formidable repository of knowledge. But then, one may ask, what is the basis of our knowledge? Indeed this is the premier question that our educationists should posit as they seek to invest and promulgate knowledge to our world let alone in our country. This is because, the epistemology of our education is what will in the end define who we become socially and economically too.
As long as our information systems too are plugged as it were, in the arbitrary philosophical foundations; our outlook in all spheres will remain bleak. The same can be said about our legal infrastructure. For instance, how does one explain the political input to our legal system? What are the implications of our worldviews into the entire educational pericopae?
Our education system being the driving engine of our society; therefore requires vigilance in its endeavours as a socializing or a human resource development agency. This is because there is a perennial need to rationalize the capital investment of our educational system vis-à-vis the socio-economic realities that are. Is our capital investment in the acquisition of knowledge vide our educational system cogent with its application in the job market? Or is our educational system parochial and highly over valued?
Together with the value addition of our educational system in our economic system, the question that begs is, is our educational system fitted for our socio-engineering? What is the role of religio-philosophic studies in our curriculum? The reason for positing the query is the need to re-evaluate the fundamentals and the ethics incorporated into our educational system. That is whether they are a part of the core values or whether they are peripheral?
The need for social engineering that is value rated cannot be gainsaid. While it is easier said than done, it is time we reflect on our core values in our educational paradigm. This is because, as much as the need for the separation of parochial religious systems in our public institution, the overly and now overt secularist tendencies to dominate and carry the day need to be re-evaluated and put in perspective. This is so, because this is being done at the expense of the more progressive wholistic approach that needs to be the norm rather than the exception as our way of life.
While we should be given choices to make, unfortunately, this is only presumed in that only one choice is offered. This is totally a negation of the very principles and values of education that encompass the embracing of all the disciplines. It is in the embracing of all disciplines that synergies are created. Because embracing and negating the other, the loss is enormous. While religious fanaticism should be negated and discouraged the same should be projected towards secularist dogmatism that is veiled in false intellectualism. This is because the reality of the contribution by religion in the socio-scientific dynamics is often downplayed by pseudo-science.
It is with this in mind that our policy makers should seek to create doors for opportunity in wholistic educational paradigms. There should also be enlargement and increase of higher education if not the financing of the same. Otherwise, how do our policy makers explain the annual unfair ‘vetting’ and unofficial ‘vetting’ created by the artificial demand for fewer facilities by a very large group of students who gain university entrance points and yet they cannot be absorbed in the facilities that we have or same level educational facilities elsewhere through financing?
The current snails pace in the increase and enlargement of our educational facilities seems to be part of the wider conspiracy that deliberately denies our society the right to higher education and at reasonable expense? Otherwise, how does one explain the current ‘exodus’ of our qualified students to other countries? By doing this are we not deliberately denying our people opportunities for employment in the educational system?
That universities from abroad literary have camped in our backyard or that they have their permanent representative in our country is a clear witness as to the “value” of our students who seek higher education in foreign land. This is not fundamentally wrong, but raises issues that need to be dealt with.
It is in positing the above questions that hopefully will give us a way forward. Part of the way forward is the unification of our disciplines in a wholistic approach. ‘As a man thinks so is he,’ so the Holy Writ says. (Interactive: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Maina Kabukuru F.
Box 5251, 00506
Nyayo Stadium, Nairobi.
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