Kenya has 338 public primary and secondary schools which entirely caters for the learners with Special needs education and disabilities, the Director General in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Elyas Abdi has said.
He said 300 of the primary and 38 secondary schools cater for children living with various disabilities, saying Kenya’s focus on special needs education is evolving.
The Director General made the remarks when he officially opened a workshop on Learning Event on Disability—inclusive Education in Eastern and Southern Africa: Kenya’s Successes with Disability inclusive Education at a Nairobi hotel today.
A report on Mapping and Recommendations on Disability-Inclusive Education in Eastern and Southern Africa, on 21 Eastern and Southern Africa Region (ESAR) countries was also released.
Dr. Abdi said the government was moving towards inclusive education where children living with disabilities attend regular schools and operate from their respective homes.
He said most of the students are in integrated educational institutions where they receive their education.
Dr. Abdi said the government had established Educational Assessment Research Centers (EARCs) for screening recommendation for placement in an appropriate educational institution depending on the child’s special educational needs.
The Education Advisor Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) Wongani Taulo, said expressed the need to strengthen the policy frameworks on the needs of children living with disabilities.
He said resource allocation to special needs education should be equitable to ensure no child was left behind in education matters.
She said transformation of the community and teachers at school levels was important in order to make the education of children living with disabilities more effective.
The Director for Special Needs Education, (SNE) Mr. Fredrick Haga said the moment is towards inclusive education where children living with disabilities should, as far as possible, be integrated in regular schools.
He said this will enable children who can learn, remain with their family members.
“Only children with severe disabilities are the ones who will attend special schools,” Mr. Haga said, on the sidelines of the workshop.
Participants at the workshop were drawn from Malawi, Lesotho, Tanzania (Mainland and Zanzibar) and Kenya.
The workshop aims at providing a highlight and overview of evidence on the situation, good practices and constraints faced regarding the provision of quality disability inclusive education in ESA.
It also aims at discussing the opportunity to bring changes in schools, but also in attitudes and practices that prevent children with disabilities from accessing quality education among others.