By LONAH KIBET
A pilot study conducted in six secondary schools in Nairobi County has revealed that nurturing character and creativity not only improves academic performance but also culture.
There was also an indication of reduced social problems such as violence, bullying and substance abuse in the schools.
The results in an evaluation report titled “Character and Creativity Initiative (CCI) in Changing Secondary School Culture in Kenya” showed a significant improvement in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination for the last three years of CCI intervention.
“The performance of pilot schools has been increasing since 2009, recording an average mean grade of 6.38 in that year, 6.42 in 2010 and 6.59 last year, ” the report read in part.
It added: “This represents active investment in developing successful relationships between students and teachers, as well as achieving success in school activities.”
The report was compiled based on findings from Moi Forces Academy, Kenya High School, Lang’ata Boys High School, Embakasi Girls Secondary School, Our Lady of Fatima Secondary School and Parklands Boys Secondary School, as monitored alongside other six randomly selected secondary schools (control schools).
Speaking during the launch of the report at a Nairobi hotel yesterday, Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi said schools needed to infuse character into teaching strategies and academic content. He said it helped to inspire students to be well-versed with everything.
“It helps them engage in learning, pursue truth and understanding, work well with others, become more self-disciplined and self-motivated in their studies,” said Kaimenyi.
He commended the pilot schools for taking a leadership-driven and entrepreneurial approach in pioneering CCI best practices.
These included the power 1 per cent for change and peace, adopt a tree initiative, “talk to me” initiative, character and sports initiative, integration of values during lessons, rebranding initiative and positive performance initiative through mentorship, among others.
CCI is the flagship of Global Peace Foundation Kenya (GPF-K), in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Brand Kenya Board, Chandaria Foundation, and Oxford Foundation, among others, since 2010 leading to the recent publishing of the report evaluation.
The study recommended integration of national values in the school curriculum as a pillar for building transformative
It indicated that joint work efforts by teachers, parents, and school community towards a shared vision of ethics and excellence will help prepare students for success in life, higher education, career growth and community development.
It also showed that successful collaboration between students, administrators, teachers and parents requires honesty, reflection and constant improvement in moral and academic development.
GPF-K patron Manu Chandaria emphasised on the importance of building character, saying “education without character is useless”.
Chandaria called for the gradual scaling up of the initiative in primary, secondary schools and universities while also urging the ministry to adopt entrepreneurship and leadership course work in the school curriculum.