National goals of education and their importance in Kenya

National goals of education give guiding principles on what a country’s education system seeks to achieve when a person goes through the system. The very first national goals in Kenya were formulated after Kenya became independent. They were highlighted in the first education commission led by Ominde in 1964 (Ominde Report).

They have been changed and improved but in general, they are the same. All other commissions and education reports keep on adopting those 8 national goals of education. The new CBC curriculum framework (BECF 2017) by KICD which introduced CBC still adopted the same goals.

So the government has been implementing the same goals of education since independence. However, the level at which these educational goals have been achieved is something that needs to be studied to ascertain how far we are in achieving them.

Importance of national goals of education

Why does the government need to have educational goals for the whole country? It is the mandate of the government of the day to ensure it instills the necessary skills and attitude to its citizens for national growth. Some of the reasons why we need education goals for any country include.

  1. The goals give the guidelines when developing a curriculum to understand what should be included in the subject matter.
  2. When implemented as required, the goals help produce citizens who meet the government’s social, economic, and technological needs.
  3. The goals help the government to measure each goal and assess how it has been achieved for continual improvement or change of the goal.
  4. With the goals laid down, they can be implemented uniformly in all parts of the country and at all levels of education.
  5. They help foster equity distribution of resources to ensure everybody gets the same education with equal opportunities.

8 National Goals of Education

The Kenyan education system through the Ministry of Education has formulated 8 national goals for education. These goals are aligned with government Vision 2030 and other national and international goals for education. They are the following.

Foster nationalism, patriotism, and promote national unity

Kenya’s community is made up of diverse people who have different beliefs and backgrounds. Education should be able to bring together all these people to work under one nation called Kenya.

The learner should be able to acquire a sense of patriotism for the country and live in harmony with each other.

Promote social, economic, technological, and industrial needs for national development

The government should ensure those who go through the education system are equipped to help the government achieve its social, economic, industrial, and technological needs.

The learner should be able to interact, appreciate, and participate at the family, community, national, and international levels.

The economy of the country is built by its people. The education offered should be able to equip the child with skills to positively impact the economy of the country. A better economy brings better living standards for the people.

Technology keeps changing and new industries are being born every day. The education of a country should be able to equip its learners with skills to cope with the latest technology. With better technological know-how industries will grow, and more people will be employed to impact national development.

Promote individual development and self-fulfilment

Before we become a community we are individuals first. The education should be able to bring out the unique talents that each person has and develop them. It should help people to fully identify their potential and fully utilize them.

Promote sound moral and religious values

Education should be able to instill in learners positive moral values for a harmonious existence within a community. Different religious values should also be embraced to develop morally upright individuals.

Promote social equity and responsibility

Education should be for all to create equal opportunity. The goals should include the abled and learners with special needs for inclusivity. It should also create a sense of responsibility and accountability to self, community, and the nation they live in.

Promote respect for and development of Kenya’s rich and varied cultures

Kenya is made up of different tribes that come with varied beautiful rich cultures. Education should expose the learners to these cultures so they to appreciate their diversity and respect other cultures.

Learners will be open-minded and when they meet different people with their beliefs and cultures they can appreciate them.

Promote international consciousness and foster positive attitudes toward other nations

Kenya is part of an international community that requires interaction to benefit from knowledge, resources, and skills from others. Hence, education should equip the learner how to respect, appreciate, and participate in the international community.

They should learn how different countries in the world operate, and the obligations, rights, responsibilities, and beliefs of other nations in the world.

Promote positive attitudes towards good health and environmental protection

We live in our bodies and learners should be taught how to take care of it. Education should instill in learner how to take care of their bodies, good food, communicable and non-communicable diseases, how to prevent them, etc.

Learners should be able to promote environmental preservation and conservation. This can be done by embracing sustainable development and taking care of animals, among others.