With reference to one of the Documents from the Vatican II Council, Gravissimum Educationis, the Archdiocese of Kisumu acknowledges the irreplaceable importance of education. The Conference of Catholic Bishops in Kenya (KCCB) has drafted its Education Policy. Like the Vatican II Council, KCCB emphasizes that:
Among all educational instruments the school has a special importance.(19) It is designed not only to develop with special care the intellectual faculties but also to form the ability to judge rightly, to hand on the cultural legacy of previous generations, to foster a sense of values, to prepare for professional life. Between pupils of different talents and backgrounds it promotes friendly relations and fosters a spirit of mutual understanding; and it establishes as it were a center whose work and progress must be shared together by families, teachers, associations of various types that foster cultural, civic, and religious life, as well as by civil society and the entire human community.
The Archdiocese of Kisumu is proud of the fact that our Founding Bishop Gorgonius Brandsma is one of the Bishops who spearheaded the right of the African child to be educated. Soon after it was erected as a Prefecture Apostolic of Kavirondo, the Mill Hill Missionaries founded St. Mary’s School Yala. Over 93 (ninety three) years, we now have over 400 schools that are sponsored by the Archdiocese of Kisumu. These schools range from Nursery, to Primary, to Secondary. Through our schools, we seek to provide holistic education which is informative, formative, and transformative. This Department of Education helps the Archdiocese of Kisumu to emphasize on Christian values, pastoral care, character formation and academic excellence in our schools.
The Church considers schools and all learning institutions (primary or secondary, private or public, catholic-sponsored or non-Catholic-sponsored, colleges or universities) as an important agent of evangelization and character formation. Our Priests in the parishes have robust programs in which they visit the schools for the celebration of the Eucharist and for Confessions. They are also key members of the Boards of Management in these schools, thanks to the Kenya Education Act which recognizes the role of the Sponsor when it comes to the formation of School Management Boards as well as in the management of these schools. Indeed the Archdiocese of Kisumu is proud of our well-performing schools like Nyabondo Boys’ Boarding, St Mary’s Lwak Girls, Rangala Girls, and St Mary’s School Yala, just to mention a few.
This Department collaborates with TSC, with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, as well as with the County Education Boards of Kisumu and Siaya Counties. Together with the Ministry, this Department ensures that due process is followed in the establishment and management of our schools through suitable Boards of Management. Together with the TSC, this Department ensures that suitable teachers are appointed to teach in our schools as well as suitable Head-Teachers and Principals are appointed to head these schools with respect to the Catholic Traditions in the Catholic-Sponsored schools. This Department is headed by the ADOK EDUCATION SECRETARY (currently Fr Edmund Onyango photo will be provided who works together with Members of the County Education Boards of Siaya and Kisumu. There are also Religious Education Advisors (REA) for Kisumu County and Siaya County.
The effort of the Archbishop to establish Uzima University of Health Sciences cannot be gainsaid. It appeared as a tall order at the start but it has managed to soldier on in spite of the challenges. It opened its doors in 2012 with a small group of medical students from across the country. The year 2018 will remain in history as the year that this pioneer students will graduate.