NGEC Vice Chairperson Commissioner Simon Ndubai has decried the state of learning environment of students with disability as it emerged that the policy of integration and inclusion of learners with disabilities is fraught with logistical and capacity challenges.
A spot check at Log Logo Jubilee Unit primary school for the blind in Marsabit County revealed a disturbing situation where learners of different ages and different classes are lumped in a single room where they receive instructions form a single teacher who is also blind.
The Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities requires State parties to ensure that persons with disabilities are not excluded from the general education system on the basis of disability. Such a move means that learning institutions provide both special and general classes for learners with disabilities. This requires huge investments in physical infrastructure, learning materials and equipment.
The Persons with Disabilities Act 2003 provides for establishment of special schools and institutions especially for the deaf, blind and those with intellectual disabilities to cater for formal education, skills development and self-reliance. The convention for persons with disability however does not root for special learning institutions but emphasis on inclusivity.
On the other hand, the Basic education Act provides that the cabinet secretary shall establish and maintain public special schools. A proposal by Members of parliament however wants special schools set up in each constituency to cater exclusively for learners with disabilities.
According to Commissioner Ndubai lack of resources to equip school with necessary curriculum material, human resource and infrastructure has left learners with disabilities greatly discriminated by receiving substandard or no education at all.
“We would like to see a phased out implementation of the integration policy such that we can begin by providing special schools for all learners with disability and then progressively include them to the normal schools with other learners” said Ndubai.
The legal framework envisages an organised system whether integrated and or inclusive where the learners with disability receive quality education on equal footing with the rest.