Students ask questions about the structure of the Holy Ghost Cathedral
Tour guide at Shiv Temple describes various Hindu festivities to the students
The Imam of the Umm Kulthum Mosque explains the five pillars of Islam
On Tuesday, September 22, the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa Year 6 students visited the Holy Ghost Cathedral, Shiv temple, and Umm Kulthum mosque as part of their Humanities class trip.
The students learnt about the similarities and differences between the three places of worship, and the ways in which they are used. The trip encouraged them to reflect on the aspects that people from different religious backgrounds share in common, which bind them as a community despite the differences between them. For example, they had to remove their shoes before entering both the temple and the mosque as a sign of respect.
The students were very engaging, and asked the tour guides insightful questions about various religious practices and their significance. They also recorded new information that they learnt during their visit in their workbooks and will be reflecting on them in class.
In addition to observing the similarities and differences between the three areas of worship and the corresponding religious practices associated with them, the students learnt about the rich history of Mombasa. The Holy Ghost Cathedral and the Shiv Temple originated in Mombasa in the years 1923 and 1885 respectively.
Another important lesson learnt from the trip was the pluralism that exists in Mombasa. It is reflected in the religious diversity of its population and the presence of places of worship for people of all religious backgrounds practiced in the local community.
Such excursions are a great way of exploring and practically applying theoretical concepts outside the classroom. They are certainly quite beneficial in also encouraging students to engage in collaborative learning. We hope to see the Year 6 students return to their classroom with fresh perspectives on religious identity that enrich their learning experiences.