The Governing Policy Guidelines in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET), aims to promote access for People with Disability (PWD) by equipping them with knowledge and skills.
This was said by the Principal Secretary (PS), State Department for Technical, Vocational Education and Training, (TVET), Easter Muoria, who was speaking at Machakos School for the Blind during the Scholarship award and Equipment Commissioning by Toyota Kenya.
The PS said the knowledge and skills attained will help the PWD’s to compete in the labor market fairly.
“Inclusive training is intended to end marginalization of people with special needs and differently abled in the labor market and reduce social economic costs to individual and community at large,” said the PS.
Muori added that The Ministry of Education advocated for absolute integration, where learners with PWD are enrolled in different education institutions across the country.
She added that the Government has established four Technical Training Institutions for learners with special needs such as Machakos Institute for the Blind, Karen Technical Institute for the Deaf, Sikri Technical Institute for Deaf and Blind in Oyugis and St Joseph Institute for the Deaf in Nyangoma.
“Over 2,500 learners have been enrolled in the above institutions since 2020,” added Ps Muoria.
Muoria said the State Department for TVET, is aware that the special needs institutions do not have the capacity to admit all eligible students to promote inclusive training.
She, however, said they plan to adapt TVET infrastructure to make it differently abled friendly and providing sanitary facilities for female students, to help in retention.
Muoria further pointed out that there is a need to expand infrastructure, review curriculum, build trainer capacity, increase funding and implement affirmative action to promote special needs education.
The PS noted that the State Department is working on a curriculum, where TVET trainees will train 70 percent in industry and 30 percent on coursework.
She lamented that despite the Government intervention, only a few learners with special needs have access to Technical and Vocational training.
“Less than four percent of the student population in TVET Institutions have special needs, which implies that even with Government intervention, only a few learners have access to vocational training,” added Muoria.
PS Muoria hailed Machakos Technical Institute for the Blind for accommodating trainees with different levels of disability, ranging from totally blind to low vision, others blinded by consumption of illegal brew, bomb survivors, post stress traumatic disorders, all ranging from 16 to over 50 years of age.
The Toyota Kenya Foundation Manager, Florence Suji, said the Company is happy to be supporting the Government in driving TVET activities forward.
Suji said the Toyota Foundation works with TVET institutions and they are offering scholarships and equipment to various TVET Institutions, to enhance proper training.
She said as a Foundation their focus is to build equity and offer support to young people, by donating equipment and training on entrepreneurship to TVET students, so that they can be self-employed or be employed.
Suji said they have offered 25 students with Scholarship for PWD and regular for the year 2023 Cohort.
The Principal for Machakos School for the Blind, Priscilla Nduku, said the Institutions appreciates the Government and Toyota Kenya Foundation efforts in providing opportunities to their trainees.
Nduku said the Foundation has contributed immensely to the intervention to enhance the quality of life for special needs trainees which includes the Scholarship for 25 students.
“The access interventions and addressing the most complex problems the beneficiaries face day-to-day activities and the donations, have brought immediate and lasting significance to the students,” said Principal Nduku.
She said the foundation has enabled them to buy three desktop computers, five orbit readers because they have transformed from mechanical braille machine to the digital orbit reader and a unit of science and laboratory equipment which amounted to Sh1million.
Nduku appealed to donors and development partners to have the motto to transform and empower persons with vision impairment to enable them acquire relevant and suitable skills.
By Anne Kangero and Esther Kioko