Inclusive education for children with disabilities in Kenya - GCE and APPG Global Education for All report
9 February 2016
by Aletheia Bligh-Flower
Leonard Cheshire Disability works closely with Global Campaign for Education UK and the APPG Global Education for All to ensure governments give disabled children worldwide access to an education.
Today the coalition published Accessing inclusive education for children with disabilities in Kenya (PDF, 8Mb), a report of its findings following a visit to Kenya in 2015, where huge strides are being made.
The first part of the week was spent visiting various schools and inclusive education projects hosted by charities VSO, Sense International, Deafchild Worldwide together with Leonard Cheshire.
Poverty as a barrier to education came up time and time again in our conversations with parents and families, just as it had in earlier research conducted by VSO.
School fees for segregated schools dealing with special needs education are prohibitive. Additional costs that children with disabilities face for assistive learning devices and transport are also well beyond the means of most families.
On top of these obstacles, a lack of trained teachers and accessible schools coupled with high levels of cultural prejudice have traditionally stood in the way of delivering quality basic education to children with disabilities in Kenya.
Leonard Cheshire Disability aims to support 100,000 people with disabilities in Africa and Asia over the next five years through creating education and employment opportunities.
There is a shared commitment from political quarters. The new Kenyan constitution drawn up in 2010 underpins this.
The delegation I travelled with included the Governor of Kisumu, the MP for Kisumu East, the Parliamentary Committee on Education and members of the Kenya Disability Parliamentary Caucus.
The four UK parliamentarians in attendance were Lord Low of Dalston, Mark Williams MP, Chris Heaton-Harris MP and Mike Wood MP.
The visit was coordinated by Results UK and we are all working closely with the Department for International Development to realise the recommendations of the report.
Aletheia Bligh-Flower is global alliance manager at Leonard Cheshire Disability and one of the authors of the report.