The role of Sunday schools in Christian socialisation of children in Africa: a case study of Africa inland church in Kenya
Since the advent of modern changes in Africa, the African society just like other global societies has been beset with a myriad of moral challenges such as corruption, sexual abuse and immorality, nepotism, theft, drug abuse, violence and lack of positive work ethic. The traditional institutions which used to instill discipline, character, purpose of human life and social co-existence have been undermined and rendered ineffective. This paper contends that Sunday Schools which were founded by Robert Raikes in the eighteenth century can be adapted to religiously socialise children and the youth in Africa. Since Sunday Schools were introduced in Africa from nineteenth century they have been accepted and adopted in most Christian denominations in Africa. Research for the paper was conducted in Africa inland Church Machakos in Kenya where questionnaires were administered to both teachers and officials of Christian education department. Key informants who included Sunday school superintendents and leaders of district church councils were personally interviewed. Participant observation was conducted in eight selected churches. The study found out that Sunday schools lacked basic facilities such as class rooms, reading materials and adequately trained teachers. It was also found that Sunday schools have been neglected by church leaders. The study recommends that improved and well equipped Sunday schools would be attractive and effective in religiously educating African children and youth hence positively influencing them and enhancing their quality of life.
Keywords: Sunday schools, Church, indigenous education, Mass media, Christian education