Government To Enhance Education Access To Children Living With Disabilities.
To achieve substantial education for all, the Ministry of Education has reaffirmed its support and dedication to making schools welcoming and accessible to all children, including those with disabilities.
Simon Nabukwesi, the principal secretary of the State Department of University Education and Research, stated that access to education, particularly for learners with disabilities and special needs, continues to face unexplored roadblocks and that, to achieve inclusive quality education, it is crucial to focus on the practice of special needs education in Kenya.
According to the P.S., the Special Needs Education Policy Framework of 2009 aims to guide enrolling previously excluded populations.
Amb. Nabukwesi stated on Wednesday at the Kenya Institute of Special Needs in Kasarani, at the UBUNTU Conference on Special Needs and Inclusive Education 2022, that the Kenyan government, in collaboration with a variety of partners, has worked to improve learning opportunities for all students.
“Education is a fundamental right that is enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya 2010. In realizing this right, the government of Kenya has ratified International Treaties as well as enacted national policies on quality education for all,” he said.
According to Nabukwesi, the government continues to allocate significant funds to the education sector to ensure that all children in Kenya have access to education.
“According to the 2011 World Report on disability, there are between 93 and 150 million children under the age of 14 globally with disabilities.
The Education Commission Report (2016) estimates that ” close to 65 million primary and secondary school-age children with disabilities and that many of them are out of school,” he said.
He added that the recent report “Towards Inclusive Education: The Impact of Disability on School Attendance in Developing Countries,” which examined the impact of disability on school attendance in 15 countries, identified school access as a significant obstacle for the majority of children with disabilities and disability as a crucial factor that affects school attendance.
“I must emphasise on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which recognizes the right of persons with disabilities to be included in the general education system, to have access to free and compulsory primary education, as well as to secondary and higher education without discrimination,” said the PS.
He added that the convention provides guidelines on how to make the educational system accessible and that we are mandated to support the acquisition of sign language, braille, and other alternative modes, means, and forms of communication.
It stresses the responsibilities of training and employing qualified teachers and giving all the necessary support to facilitate the effective education of individuals with disabilities.
The PS said the fundamental right to education requires that students have access to and successfully finish quality education programs.
He noted that collective action could only attain an inclusive, just, and equitable society.
He emphasized that the comprehensive nature of the solution will necessitate significant investment, restructuring of roles for many in the educational sector, a massive professional and leadership development strategy, restructuring of funding, new accountability mechanisms, significant institutional change within government, counties,, and schools, and renewed relationships between schools, parents, and communities for the plan to be successful.
“We must remember we work every day to educate the future citizens, to make sure that every child, from a disadvantaged family or from a family with economic difficulties, a child with learning challenges, a child with different abilities, will be accepted and valued and benefit equally from our education system,” said Nabukwesi.
He noted that he is aware that numerous community-based groups and local or worldwide organizations have made enormous contributions to special needs and inclusive education, stating that all of these initiatives are valuable contributions to a stronger inclusive education.
“Indeed, we are in this together: UBUNTU – I am because we are! I implore the UBUNTU Conference participants and delegates to give us a roadmap for the next 20 years, thus re-imaging inclusive education as a mechanism towards education for all,” said Nabukwesi.
60 pupils and teachers share a dorm in Kwale school for deaf
Parents of a deaf school in Msambweni, Kwale county, want more teachers and equipment.
Kidimu School for the Deaf has 10 classrooms and 60 learners but only three TSC-registered teachers.
Three board teachers assist TSC teachers.
Masai Mwawira, the school’s parents association head, claimed lack of learning facilities and teachers affects children’s education.
Teachers must use one classroom for two classes, he said.
Mwawira stated male and female students, along with their teachers, slept in one dormitory.
Three students, typically boys, share a bed.
“Things are tough, classrooms are very few and making it worse teachers share a dormitory with students,” Mwawira said.
He spoke in Msambweni on Tuesday.
Mwawira said teachers are under pressure to finish the syllabus despite low numbers.
He claimed rushing the syllabus is bad for their mental health and the kids’.
The school comprises a nursery (PP1 and PP2) and grades 1-8.
Mwawira claimed the new curriculum is too involved and needs more teachers.
He asked the government to hire more instructors.
“We appreciate getting food rations from the government and private organisations, but learning facilities and personnel are key to the institution’s prosperity,” Mwawira said.
He stated hiring enough teachers will improve knowledge delivery.
David Katana, school board chairman, condemned the government’s neglect of disabled children.
He stated the government should budget for PWD children’s education and well-being.
Katana: “Parliament should agree to a set share of cash for PWD education.”
PWDs need equal study and employment opportunities, he said.
Bakari Mwakilesho, a PWD spokesperson, said the government should subsidize all PWD schools to help special-needs students learn.
Athman Mwakuyu, the school’s headmaster, said the facility has food issues.
He said they’re surviving on kitchen garden farming.
They produce veggies to augment cereal supplies.
The National Fund for Kenya’s Disabled gave the institution Sh300,000 on Tuesday.
The cash will help an agricultural initiative.
NGOs and Coast Serious Farmers Group support the shade net project.
Mwakuyu said the scheme is successful because they sell excess food.