By Judith Akolo
NAIROBI, Feb 18 (NNN-KBC) — The Kenyan government has directed that preachers be vetted before being allowed to preach in schools, says the Cabinet Secretary (Minister) for Education, Dr. Fred Matiang’i.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of a two-day Workshop for Education Practitioners at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) here Wednesday, he said itinerant preachers would be vetted before they are allowed to hold sermons or preach in schools.
“The clearance should be made by religious leaders whose institutions the preachers belong to, for them to be allowed to step into any school for the purpose of talking to students,” said Dr. Matiang’i.
At the workshop, organized by the Supreme Council of Kenyan Muslims (SUPKEM) and the Islamic Religious Education (IRE) both serving and retired, Dr. Matiang’i said freedom of worship should be practised with a measure of responsibility.
He noted that students should be shielded from destructive religious ideas and ideologies and voiced the need to review religious education curricula so that inter-faith values of tolerance, communal living and celebrating diversity that define the nation and the global environment can be imparted.
He said the new IRE curriculum developed by SUPKEM would help to re-orient learners to values and morals which promoted tolerance and human dignity for all.
He asked religious leaders to address the radicalization of students and called for involvement of parents in ensuring that children were not radicalized.
“We must reject the notion that radicalism,” said Dr. Matiangi and added, “Radicalism is not Islam, but a criminal ideology.”
The National Chairman of SUPKEM, Prof. Abdulghafur El Busaidy, said the proposed curriculum was aimed at promoting the basic understanding that all religions are, in essence, interpretations of divine revelation.