Preliminary Survey on the Students’ Perception about the Negative Impact of Tribalism on the Learning at United States International University

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dc.contributor.author Nakamura, Katsuji
dc.date.accessioned 2015-07-07T11:55:53Z
dc.date.available 2015-07-07T11:55:53Z
dc.date.issued 2013
dc.identifier.uri http://erepo.usiu.ac.ke/11732/481
dc.description An article by Katsuji Nakamura, a Lecturer of Japanese Language at the School of Humanities and social Sciences in USIU - Africa en_US
dc.description.abstract Kenya is an ethnically diverse country which is comprised of over forty ethnic groups. While the diversity should make up the richness of culture and ways of life, the ‘tribe’ mentality is the roots cause of many problems that Sub-Sahara African nations face. In Africa, different ethnic groups compete for national resource such as “land, political power, natural resources, social and economic power” (Osore 2008), and “tribalism still infuses all aspects of society” (Wax 2005). Higher education does not seem to be, unfortunately, an exception. It can be also seen as a vehicle for political influence and the country’s resource. That could be the reason why in the past, Kenyan Government used to exercise a lot of control over the public universities in terms of contents of curriculum, hiring and firing of staffs and lecturers, approving conference and seminars, among many others, in order to meet its own political ends, leaving quite little academic freedom (Mwilia 2001). After the introduction of multi-partism in 1992, the situation began changing from the state attempting to control the higher education to differing political forces trying to gain grounds in the sector. For instance, some months before the general election in December 2007, many of the students’ bodies of the public universities’ were reportedly re-aligned to one of three major political forces of the time, which were aligned to some ethnic groups. “Tribalism and ethnicity have almost become the second name for the student body,” and “the tribal politics being played out between the ODM and the PNU groupings have been extended wholesale to the student community” (Daily Standard, 18 October 2007). It was said that two leading political forces of the time approached the Students Affairs Council, the central students’ body at United States International University (USIU), a private university, but the officials declined to be associated with any of the political parties, as it is also the policy of the university. Thus, there was no election campaign that took place on the campus. But that episode does not guarantee that USIU is free from any negative ethnicity. That is because we are still part of Kenyan society in terms of both population and culture, and we cannot even rule out the possibility of ethno-nationalism taking some forms in a big way in the future, if left unchecked. Or there may exist to be already some kinds of ethnic discrimination or bias that affect the learning on the campus, yet that is not known so much. Isn’t there, for instance, any favoritism or discrimination against students from certain ethnic groups by some lecturers? Even if there isn’t, aren’t there some students who have any anxiety or fear of being discriminated by lecturers from different ethnic background, which may impede psychologically their learning to some extent? Is the students’ relationship among themselves and with administration free from any ethnic bias? Though hypothesis, if there are any influence of such negative ethnicity on the campus, it is serious concern to the institution in particular and the society in general. en_US
dc.publisher United States International University - Africa en_US
dc.subject Tribalism en_US
dc.title Preliminary Survey on the Students’ Perception about the Negative Impact of Tribalism on the Learning at United States International University en_US
dc.type Article en_US

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