People living with Disabilities in Kiambu County want the country’s first ever free public education institution for people with special needs built within the county.
The Chairperson of the Kiambu County Disability Network (KCDN), Rahab Wambui said the whole country has no public school exclusive for special needs people and yet there were qualified specialists and teachers in the country.
“What exists are only units for such people within public schools and specific schools for such people,” she said, while explaining how the government had only put in place small sections within some public schools to cater for people with special needs instead of a complete institution for them.
The issue apparently arose during the last week Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) to unify Citizen in an engagement forum that was held at Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology.
Speaking to KNA in Kiambu town on Tuesday, Ms. Wambui and her colleagues told the meeting that they needed a centre where all their children could learn and interact with one another.
“We want a centre that would cater for every special child and not a specific category as that was discrimination. “Be it autism, down syndrome, deaf or blind, all children suffering from such conditions could all learn from the same institution to help them appreciate one another,” she said.
During a topic on inclusivity, the leader expressed that there was a serious need to set up a unique institution and place all the experts who could even handle people with multiple disability.
Inclusivity was cited as the most disregarded challenge in the community and participants called for immediate attention.
The other challenges discussed included devolution, corruption, divisive elections, ethnic antagonistic competition, safety and security, shared prosperity, responsibility and rights and lack of national ethos.
However, education was not the group’s only issue. They also had a problem with the current medical structure.
Magdalene Kariuki, who represented the people with disability (PWDs) of Kiambaa sub-county said that they also want free medical services.
On matters governance, the Kiambu PLWDs claimed that it was unfair that they were represented by people not suffering from disability themselves as they were able bodied. Moreover, the 5 per cent set aside for the PLWDs by the national government in accordance with the constitution, was too low and still did not reach them especially within the county.
They were optimistic that their issues would be addressed soon.
By Kingsley Wanjohi