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Teach cohesion in schools, Kaparo proposes

National Cohesion and Integration Commission is consulting the Ministry of Education on possibility of introducing peace and cohesion subjects in schools in a bid to unite the nation.

The commission chairman Francis ole Kaparo said the move was necessitated by a cohesion survey that indicated that the nation is almost halfway divided. Kaparo (pictured) said according to the commission’s latest cohesion index, the country is only 56.4 per cent united, adding that his team is working on achieving near total cohesion.

He said the consultation with the Ministry of Education may result in introduction of cohesion lessons to learners from their early primary school years so that they could grow appreciating the different cultures and dynamics in Kenya. Social cultural exchanges between different schools will also be considered so that learners could build national values and cohesion at their formative age, he said.

Kaparo also decried the lack of political goodwill in the fight against hate mongering, saying even though sections of the political class had previously cooperated with the commission in restoring peace to volatile areas, majority lacked the goodwill to promote a cohesive nation.

“It is evident this is not in their political agenda. The commission was just a creation by Kofi Annan talks in 2008, under Agenda Four items. Some of our leaders rely on negative ethnicity to maintain political patronage,” said Kaparo. These revelations come in the wake of the political tension caused by Jubilee and Cord supporters over electoral reforms.

Kaparo was speaking at the Kenya Alliance of Residents Association (Kara) forum in Nairobi yesterday, where he also decried rising use of social media for hate mongering and ethnic polarisation. He said even though the commission had undertaken to investigate some of the hate reports on social media, it was difficult for them to get the culprits as most used pseudonyms.

“(Some) social media (platforms) are not controlled in Kenya. Some users prefer pseudonyms and would be hard to identify them. But we are consulting on possibility of legislating a guide on use of social media,” he said.

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