Mount Kenya University (MKU) dons have called on institutions of higher learning to provide students with disabilities with psycho-social and infrastructural support to enable them overcome university life challenges and achieve career goals.
The Dean, School of Social Sciences and Dr. Serah Kimaru and her Director of Mind and Beyond Counselling Centre counterpart Dr. Jane Nyutu said students with disabilities in the institutions needed support to take them through the education journey.
Dr. Kimaru, who is also the Coordinator of Persons with Disabilities union, said they go through untold challenges leaving many frustrated with some dropping out of school
“My daughter of 21 years suffers from cerebral palsy and I can attest that it takes a fearless and an overcoming spirit for a child to transit from primary, secondary and eventually to Higher Education Institutions. It calls for one to overcome all odds, stereotypes, rejection, insults, and nicknames,” she said.
She emphasized on the need for universities to have counselling units and PWDs unions to address the welfare of such groups.
“As the coordinator in charge of the docket, I have realized that any child abled differently that has completed their primary course is a hero. Society is responsible for disabling people living with a disability,” she says.
Dr. Nyutu said the university has invested heavily in necessary infrastructure and policies to support the differently abled persons and accord them equal opportunities in all its campuses.
The MKU co-founder called on other universities to have in place psychosocial support units and other forms of infrastructure to help PWDs while in school.
They at the same time said PWDs were still being looked down upon in tendering and job opportunities.
Recently, MKU has witnessed an increased number of persons with disabilities going for elective positions in student organizations such as MKUSA (MKU Student’s Association).
MKU is a member of United Nation Academic Impact and currently the UNAI hub on Strategic Development goal SDG 10 on reduced inequalities.
By Muoki Charles