The Ministry of Education seeks to elevate the Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE) to a Semi-Autonomous Government Agency status.
In a memorandum issued by the Presidential Working Group on Education Reform charged with reviewing the Competency-Based Curriculum, the Ministry made the following.
Dr. Julius Jwan, principal secretary of the State Department for Early Learning and Basic Education, stated that if the facility is updated, it will open regional branches throughout the country, bringing services closer to the people.
“The government has already released money for purchasing specialized equipment for the institute,” said the PS while assuring of the government’s continued support on the work done at the facility.
Jwan said that because students with special needs must be handled with care, schools have been instructed to implement structures to accommodate them.
“The Ministry has conducted assessments on what learners need. We have been providing capitation for every learner of which those with special needs receive more than those in regular schools,” he added.
The PS was addressing on behalf of the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Ezekiel Machogu, during the 4th KISE Conference: Parental Empowerment and Engagement, held at the Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE) in Kasarani, Nairobi.
Participants from Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Somalia, and the United Kingdom attended the inaugural two-day event conducted in Kenya with the theme “Parental Empowerment and Engagement in Nurturing Children with Potential Disabilities.”
The purpose of the conference is to provide parents with an opportunity to discuss how they care for their children during the day and night so that specialists can offer advice.
Ms. Sylvia Mochabo, Founder of Andy Speaks 4 Special Persons Africa and Board Director at the National Council of Persons with Disabilities, stated at the event that parents of autistic children embrace the Competency Based Curriculum because it has allowed autistic children to discover themselves.
She did highlight, however, that in order for children with disabilities to benefit from policies, development initiatives, health, and education, the government must guarantee coordination between the Ministries of Health and Education on their respective challenges.
Mochabo stated that the government should examine solutions that will benefit special needs parents who act as caregivers for their disabled children, noting that the current regulations require that the beneficiaries be the affected children, despite the fact that some are confined to wheelchairs and others have autism, blindness, and other forms of disability.
“These children are 100 percent dependent on their parents, they might never get to enjoy the benefits, unless given to parents,” she stated.
Dr. Norman Kiogora, director of KISE, urged parents of children with impairments to enroll them in special schools rather than hiding them.
“Let us influence other parents to bring their children on board. Disabled people when given an opportunity can excel,” Kiogora said.
He stated that children with disabilities require assistance, someone who believes in them, and encouragement to never give up.
At least 500 parents of children with special needs attended the meeting to share their experiences, a gesture that will encourage other parents who are hiding their children to enroll them in schools for children with special needs.