Members of University of Nairobi Management Board and the Senate were sensitized by Officials from the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government on the importance of inculcating national values in their day to day operations. The training was held at the Central Catering Unit and was officially opened by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Peter M. F. Mbithi on March, 30, 2015.
Speaking during the workshop, the Vice-Chancellor noted that mainstreaming of national values and principles of governance is one of the indicators in the Performance Contract for the Year 2014/2015 and hence all the Heads of Departments, Deans and Directors are expected to fulfil their part of the mandate.
Prof. Mbithi noted that as a University, we have developed the tools that help us in managing gender and ethnic composition during the recruitment exercise at the University. Today’s training was for the Deans and Directors and Departmental Heads who are in turn expected to cascade the sensitization to those under them. The university is expected to conduct sensitization of national values to at least 20% of its staff, develop a roadmap on core national values, and prepare annual report on measures taken and progress achieved on national values. All this should be reported by the end of the financial year in June, 2015.
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Dr. Francis Owino, Director, Directorate of National Cohesion and National Values, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government noted that the national values are drawn from Article 10. 1 and 10.2 of the Constitution of Kenya and hence in fulfilling them, we are implementing the Constitution. “All State Officers should adhere to the constitutional provisions,” he said.
Since the University of Nairobi is well known as the fountain of knowledge, he challenged the academia to be at the forefront in the creation of new knowledge in the area of national values.
Mr. Charles Mwaniki, one of the lead trainers during the sensitization workshop noted that there are several levels of values: family values, societal values, religious values, corporate values and national values. He noted that values are very important and it is for this reason that individuals seeking employment in the public sector are required to get documents from institutions like HELB, KRA, CRBs, EACC, CID. He added that if there is failure to embrace the national values, then attainment of Vision 2030 could be in jeopardy. “The main reason the Asian Tigers area ahead of us is our failure to embrace national values”, he said.
In a bid to instil the national values to all Kenyans, the ministry through the Directorate will engage stakeholders from the Non-Governmental Organizations, sports associations, religious groups, political parties, Saccos, labour unions, among others. Other measures to be taken include recruitment of change agents, mainstreaming values in all MDAs (Ministries, Departments of Government and Agencies), involving national and county governments, the media, the civil society, the private sector and professional associations like the Law Society of Kenya, among others.
Some of the benefits of the national values highlighted during the sensitization workshop include improvement of work ethics, enhancement of youth participation and ethnic harmony in the country.