MKU Dons Call For Psychosocial And Infrastructural Support For Students With Disabilities
Dons at Mount Kenya University (MKU) have urged higher education institutions to provide students with disabilities with psychosocial and infrastructural support to help them overcome university life challenges and achieve career goals.
Dr. Serah Kimaru, Dean of the School of Social Sciences, and Dr. Jane Nyutu, Director of the Mind and Beyond Counselling Centre, said students with disabilities in the institutions needed assistance to complete their education.
Dr. Kimaru, who is also the Coordinator of the Persons with Disabilities Union, stated that they face numerous challenges that leave many frustrated and some dropping out of school.
“My daughter of 21 years suffers from cerebral palsy and I can attest that it takes a fearless and an overcoming spirit for a child to transit from primary, secondary, and eventually to Higher Education Institutions. It calls for one to overcome all odds, stereotypes, rejection, insults, and nicknames,” she said.
She emphasized the importance of universities having counseling units and PWD unions to address the needs of such groups.
“As the coordinator in charge of the docket, I have realized that any child abled differently that has completed their primary course is a hero. Society is responsible for disabling people living with a disability,” she says.
Dr. Nyutu stated that the university has heavily invested in the necessary infrastructure and policies to support differently-abled people and provide them with equal opportunities across all campuses.
The MKU co-founder urged other universities to set up psychosocial support units and other forms of infrastructure to assist PWDs while they are in school.
They also stated that PWDs were still looked down upon in tendering and job opportunities.
MKU has recently seen an increase in the number of people with disabilities seeking elective positions in student organizations such as MKUSA (MKU Student’s Association).
MKU is a member of the United Nations Academic Impact and currently serves as the UNAI hub for Strategic Development Goal SDG 10 on Inequality Reduction.