Kenya hosts conference to press for education of children with disabilities

Amina Mohamed, Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Education. Photo : WTO

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (ADV) – A three-day conference to discuss the initiatives undertaken by African governments to entrench disability-inclusive education in their respective education systems opened in Nairobi on Tuesday.

The conference brings together African education policy makers and opinion leaders to share knowledge and capacity building for effective disability-inclusive education planning and practices in Africa.

According to the World Report on Disability, 6.4 percent of children under the age of 14 live with disabilities in Africa but less than 10 percent of them were attending schools in Africa.

According to the report, they are at a higher risk of dropping out and have fewer opportunities to participate and achieve quality education.

Organizers are optimistic that the meeting will promote solutions and increase knowledge of effective disability-inclusive education planning, financing and implementation in sub-Saharan Africa.

“In Kenya we are committed to ensuring that all children, regardless of their abilities or disabilities will have the same opportunity of accessing quality education services in an inclusive manner,” said Amina Mohammed, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary of Education.

“Our society itself is inclusive and therefore it is the right thing to ensure that all children have the same opportunities to educational facilities,” she said at the opening session of the conference.

“Inclusive education means that all children, no matter who they are, can learn together in the same school. The importance of quality inclusive education – to leave no one behind – is the cornerstone for providing a brighter future for all young Kenyans” said Carlos Felipe Jaramillo, World Bank Country Director for Kenya.

The conference is organized by the World Bank, in collaboration with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and UNICEF.

It brings together development partners, as well as civil society and Ministry of Education representatives from 11 countries across the region namely, Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Ghana, Zambia, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Senegal and Lesotho.

© Bur-csa – A.H – N.A / From our regional correspondent Tamba Jean-Matthew III – African Daily Voice (ADV)