NAIROBI, June 2 – The government was Monday called upon to build 50 more special secondary schools to cater for children with special needs.
Kenya National Association of Parents Secretary General, Musau Ndunda said currently there were only seven such secondary schools countrywide, which have a capacity of 1,100 students.
“This shows there is discrimination in funding and expansion of special education schools and very little effort is put on encouraging more children to proceed to secondary schools,” he noted.
Ndunda said that out of the total population of 80,000 children with special needs only 30, 000 had been admitted in special schools.
He said though the Ministry of Education had embraced the policy of inclusion for regular schools to mainstream children whose disabilities were not very severe, the institutions did not have adequate facilities to keep these children in school.
“Out of the 3,500 candidates who sit for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE), only 275 proceed to secondary schools,” he noted.
Addressing a news conference, he also expressed concern that parents with students in special schools paid similar fees to that of regular schools.
“We therefore request the government to give special needs students a full bursary of Sh30, 000 per student,” he added.
He called for a review of the curriculum to cater for these students.
“When they sit for the examination, it is marked the same. The Kenya National Examination Council should come up with a special test for this category of children because we want to uplift and give them a hope in life,” Ndunda said.