Conceptualizing Patristic Domains in the 8-4-4 System of Education: Towards the Realisation of Holistic Education in Kenya

Ursulla A. Okoth
2014 Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences  
The 8-4-4 system of education as a strategy is a national outlook that addresses the provision of equitable, accessible, relevant and quality education at the three levels of education; primary,secondary and university respectively, in Kenya. Early childhood education, literacy and life skills programmes can not be ignored. Using formal, non-formal and informal education, Christian education (True Education) plays a major role in any state as it affirms education is a gift from God and hence
more » ... om God and hence the family, church and the state are complementary in its provision. It should not be compromised by secularism and materialism that corrupts the entire society depriving people of dignity, meaning and harmony. The discussion is based on 8-4-4 system, historical background, challenges and projection into the future to what should be addressed to realize the divine wisdom from God which is formative, transformative, liberates the intellect, disciplines the mind and purifies humanity to live in peace thus patristic education which is Christo-centric is salvific (redemptive) education to eternal life. Patristic education involves the development of a human being physically, spiritually and mentally. St. Augustine of Hippo states that patristic education is an integrated methodical imparting of all feasible means in the light of divine wisdom or truth so as to effect a harmonious formation and development of corporeal, spiritual, moral, social and intellectual faculties for committed participation in all inclusive community in order to attain wholistic goodness, progress, happiness and lifelong vision of salvation. The definition emphasises two aspects, corporeal (exteriority/body) and inner self (interiority/conscience). However, St. Thomas Aquinas goes further and defines patristic education as a life long process of imparting, acquiring the whole knowledge and experience ordained by divine truths involving integral formation, development and maturity of the whole person in his individual spiritual, moral and social dimensions for vision, responsible and value oriented relationship between God, man and society in history of human beings. Church fathers felt they were called to pneuma-centric task for the church and society. The four elements of patristic education according to church fathers that is the essence of education are: i) Wholistic knowledge or divine wisdom from God and faith in God. ii) Wholistic transformation of human beings iii) Wholistic participation and commitment in the society. iv) Wholistic experience of eternal salvation Any education system such as the 8-4-4 system should address and embrace the definitions and the four elements that are complementary. Appraising 8-4-4 system as the assessment of the value, quality or nature of the system is given. Wholistic education, the cosmotheandrian education, refers to the relationship between man, nature and God and which prepares a person for integrated developed life. The discussion is based on the extent to which 8-4-4 system develops the individual fully (spiritually, mentally and physically). In addition, an attempt is made to appraise 8-4-4 system in terms of relevance that is how closely the system is connected with societal needs or how the education system is appropriate to meet the needs of the 21 st century. It is evident that education 1) Is broad and complex, with plurality of elements 2) Distinguishes between true or false 3) Offers direction
doi:10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n5p249 fatcat:rsd53s53prbr3ix3arhv54jkja