State Department for University Education and Research Principal Secretary (PS) Simon Nabukwesi has once again assured learners with disabilities of an open and friendly learning environment.
According to PS Nabukwesi, the ministry of education is committed to supporting learners with disabilities in a bid to achieve quality education.
Speaking on Wednesday at the Kenya Institute of Special needs (KISE) in Kasarani during the UBUNTU Conference on Special Needs and Inclusive Education 2022, Nabukwesi observed that access to education for learners with a disability faces unexplored roadblocks and to achieve inclusive quality education it is imperative to focus on the practice of special needs education in Kenya.
The PS said that the Special Needs Education Policy Framework of 2009 aimed at providing a direction in bringing into school populations had been excluded.
Amb Nabukwesi said that the government of Kenya in collaboration with various partners has made efforts to expand learning opportunities to all children.
“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.
To support the provision of education for all children in Kenya, Nabukwesi said that the government continues to dedicate massive resources to the education sector.
The PS says the 2011 World Report on disability, indicates that there are between 93 and 150 million children under the age of 14 globally with disabilities.
He further says the Education Commission Report (2016), estimates that there are close to 65 million primary and secondary school-age children with disabilities and that many of them are out of school.
He added that the recent report “Towards Inclusive Education: The Impact of Disability on School Attendance in Developing Countries,” which explored the impact of disability on school attendance in 15 countries highlighted school access to be a significant challenge for most children with disabilities, and disability to be a critical factor which affects school attendance.
“I must emphasize 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 explained that the convention guides how to make the educational system inclusive adding that under the Convention, we are required to take measures to facilitate the learning of sign language, braille, and other alternative modes, means, and forms of communication. It affirms the obligation of training and employing qualified teachers and providing all the support required to facilitate persons with disabilities’ effective education.
“The fundamental right to education is where learners are put in a position to access and complete quality education programs with success. We must be mindful that an inclusive, just, and fair society can only be achieved through collective action,” said the PS.