Girls' Education Challenge project
Only 41.7% disabled girls complete primary school, compared to 50.6% of disabled boys. Disabled girls are often the least likely to attend and complete their education. Find out about our Girls' Education Challenge project in Kenya:
Barriers to inclusive education
The barriers these girls can face fall under three clear areas.
- A lack of a supportive curriculum for children.
- A lack of teachers trained in disability inclusive teaching methods.
- A lack of financial resources to support the education of children with disabilities.
- Myths and misconceptions about disability.
- Stigma around inability of children with disabilities to contribute to the community.
- Belief that children with disabilities are unable to learn and are not worth teaching.
- Inaccessible school buildings and classrooms.
- No disability and/or gender-sensitive wash facilities.
- A lack of accessible teaching and learning materials.
Adolescence is a particularly difficult time for girls with disabilities.
Common misconceptions around disabled girls' sexual and reproductive health means household members may assume they do not need sanitary protection or information on sexual health and relationships.
This leads to a heightened vulnerability to violence, and can have a cyclical effect as parents or carers may be reluctant to allow them to go to school because of fears for their safety.
There are also misconceptions that, due to a presumed lack of sexuality, disabled girls will not have sexually transmitted infections and are therefore considered ‘safer’ to prey on.
This not only heightens their risk of suffering abuse, but also contraction of infection.
What we do
Our Girls' Education Challenge project focuses on addressing the specific barriers girls with disabilities face, whilst also supporting boys with disabilities to access education in 50 primary schools in Kenya.
We work with children with disabilities, their parents, teachers, local schools, communities, education authorities, local leaders, development partners and policy makers.
The project aims to replicate and scale up Leonard Cheshire Disability’s successful model for inclusive education whilst researching and learning about what interventions are needed, so that girls with disabilities are able to flourish in school.
Our inclusive education model works within existing government infrastructure to build capacity and develop child centred approaches.
Our holistic approach encompasses:
- identification and assessment of children with disabilities
- provision of assistive devices and personalised individual educational plans
- teacher training on inclusive teaching methods
- school infrastructure adaptations
- male mentors and support to fathers
- psychosocial support and counselling for girls
- child to child clubs and parents groups for peer engagement and support
- sensitisation on gender and disability for all stakeholders, including parents and teachers. Particular focus on child protection relating to disability
- government engagement at local, regional and national levels