Uhuru directs Treasury, Education ministries to develop plan for the disabled
President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the Education ministry and the Treasury to work with stakeholders to develop a marshal plan that would establish an optimal number of institutions across the country to effectively cater for the disabled.
As part of the plan, President Kenyatta said, the government would establish and equip 10 model education, assessment and resource centres of excellence for early identification, assessment and placement or referrals of children with disabilities.
President Kenyatta spoke Wednesday when he launched the Education Sector Policy for Learners and Trainees with Disabilities that provides a clear framework for inclusive education and training.
The president noted that inadequate qualified personnel; insufficient equipment, assistive devices and technologies have in the past hampered early identification, assessment and placement of children with disabilities.
“My administration will provide further support on infrastructural accessibility, availability of affordable assistive devices and technologies, sufficient specialised personnel and adequate financial support, guided by the needs of various disability categories,” said President Kenyatta.
The president said for inclusive education to work in the country, the best interests and needs of learners and trainees must be taken into consideration during decision-making and resource allocation.
“In this regard, I direct the Cabinet Secretary for Education to establish and equip the Educational Assessment Resource Centres countrywide and provide competent personnel and specialized equipment and technologies to operationalize this policy so that no child with disability is left behind,” said the president.
The president emphasised that the policy, he launched, must be implemented quickly and effectively to provide education to children and young people with disabilities to enable them participate in building the nation.
He said education is the greatest equaliser as it helps to level the playing field and open opportunities for all, irrespective of their social or economic background.
“In this regard, it is important to ensure that this segment of our population living with disabilities participate fully and benefit from our education and training programmes,” said the president.
Adding, “ This is the only way they can acquire the knowledge and skills that will enable them to effectively participate in building our nation.”
Kenya has approximately four million people with disabilities out of which 2.8 million are children and youth aged one to 24 years, mainly living in the rural areas.