Education CS Prof George Magoha has responded to a letter written by the Atheists in Kenya Society asking him to abolish prayer days in school.
While commissioning the construction of CBC classrooms in Kwale and Mombasa, Magoha said he is a believer and prayers should be encouraged even before exams if possible.
He, however, clarified that he is strongly against ‘prayers from outside’ that carry ‘other things.’
“Atheists telling me that I should stop prayers in schools…they should go straight to hell. I am a believer and we must encourage children to pray even before exams if they can.
“We must pray. The kind of praying that we have stopped is prayers coming from outside…because they also carry other things to come and confuse our children. Prayers are thoroughly encouraged and let the atheists not think we do not know what we are doing,” he remarked.
Earlier this week, the Atheists in Kenya Society wrote to Magoha asking him to ban forced prayers in schools.
The Society stated that it had received several complaints from students in Kenyan schools who had been forced to attend church services on Sundays.
“Most Kenyans have gone through a public education system where organized, mandatory observance of religious practice was a must.
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“This culture is still rampant in many primary and secondary schools. It is time to rethink the question of mandatory prayer and religious observance in our public school system,” read the letter in part.
Further, the atheists argued that schools are meant for all children regardless of their religious beliefs and it is the duty of churches and mosques to instill beliefs, not schools.
They also asked parents to weigh in on the issue since it is their children who are most affected.
“Public education should provide students with critical reasoning and decision-making tools so they can make informed choices. The goal of education is to foster a sense of natural curiosity and a love for learning, not to memorize facts and recite dogma.
“Public schools must focus on presenting multiple unbiased views and allow students to draw their own conclusions,” read the letter.