The Kenyan society has been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in many aspects.
The Education Sector has, especially, been worst hit after witnessing the closure of all institutions of learning countrywide. As a result, learners have had to stay away from schools where they depended on guidance and modelling through the education system.
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But all is not lost. As a matter of fact, the Covid-19 pandemic has inadvertently provided an opportune time to remind Kenyans that schooling is not synonymous with education.
All along, what this country has lacked are not those who have gone to this or that school but those who are educated in their minds to do the right thing. Currently, what has been closed in Kenya are the schools, but not education. This is because education is still available and probably should be more vibrant than before.
The Constitution of Kenya, for example, gives children the right to education and not schooling. It is exciting to note that the Ministry of Education and the Teachers Service Commission are currently calling upon teachers and parents to facilitate education of children at home.
I do not want to lose my focal point on Integrity Education during this Covid-19 pandemic. Integrity has been defined as doing the right thing at all times whether one is being watched or not. It is about honesty and faithfulness that comes from the inner heart. According to Article 10 of the Constitution, integrity is required of all Kenyans as they discharge daily duties, regardless of status or age. The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has higher obligations than any other public institution to promote integrity in Kenya.
This mandate has in the past been undertaken by the commission through integrity programmes in schools, colleges and universities, as well as other public, private, civil and religious sectors of the society.
With the interruption of the Covid-19 pandemic, Kenyans should be reminded that integrity education should be more vibrant than before, even without the usual intervention by the EACC.
Indeed, this is a time when issues of integrity ought to be up-scaled with a view to protecting further deterioration of the already vulnerable state of the economy and individuals.
One important aspect of integrity education during this period is in regard to the role of parents in character formation of their children. Parents have always been the first and most important educators, trainers and guides to the character formation of their children. Other stakeholders such as the churches, mosques, temples, teachers and government and non-governmental groups have been playing a secondary role.
It is unfortunate that Kenyans unconscientiously almost reversed these roles. As one popular saying goes, kazi ni kulea, sio kuzaa. Parents have to be reminded of their foremost responsibility to train their children to be responsible members of society.
Peradventure, the state of corruption in Kenya, is largely attributed to some parent who at some point in time failed to diligently inculcate strong principles of integrity in their children.
Parents ought to instill in their children the importance of upholding values such as respect to people and property, purity and holiness of thoughts, feelings and actions, diligence and hard work in creating wealth, godliness through conducting of daily worship programmes, to mention a few.
There is no doubt that parents who do not neglect their parental duty will attain good characters for their children at home and in the general society. When parents remain faithful to this important duty, it may turn out that Covid-19 era would be a blessing to families in terms of moral gains.