The eighth principle of Arya Samaj states: ‘ignorance ought to be dispelled and knowledge disseminated’. True to this principle Arya Samaj movement, wherever it exists, has made provision of education as its core business. Arya Samaj Nairobi is no exception.
Arya Samaj has always been making efforts to make its educational institutions adhere to the standards and ideals fixed by Maharishi Dayanad as centres of excellence for boys and girls, as far as possible. Although it has been possible to implement the objects and the ideals of Arya Samaj in toto, even then the institutions, established by Arya Samaj, were definitely different from other institutions in several ways.
One of the avowed objectives of Arya Samaj is to do away with the darkness of illiteracy and spread the light of education everywhere. That is the reason why Arya Samaj has always laid stress on the spread of education. The Aryas had started establishing educational institutions, only a few years after their arrival in Kenya in order to ensure that the boys and girls of Indian origin may get education according to their religious and cultural backgrounds and the African children may also be able to acquire knowledge about Vedic Religion. Special attention was paid to teach Arya language (Hindi) in their institutions.
Before embarking on the Arya Samaj Nairobi’s contributions in educational field, it is important to understand the colonial climate that influenced the development of Asian education in Kenya. From the early inter–war years, basic literacy and arithmetic were necessary for the successful operation of retail business. The establishment of first schools was due wholly to the iniative of various Indian communities colonial administration followed a policy of racial segregation leading to the establishment of schools for Asians separate from those for Africans and Europeans. Colonial schools were unsuitable (there was shortage of girls’ schools at this time) for Asian girls and so the Asian communities’ first schools were almost inevitably girls Primary Schools. These soon expanded into secondary schools. Boys were also established later on.