By Wycliffe Andabwa

The National Assembly Committee on National Cohesion and Equal Opportunity is urging the Ministry of Education to enhance funding for schools catering to students with special needs. This move is designed to alleviate the difficulties faced by teachers in these educational establishments. Following discussions at Mukhonje Special School in Isukha West, Shinyalu Constituency, for mentally challenged children, the Committee, led by Chairperson Yusuf Adan Haji, stressed the importance of prioritizing schools serving children with special needs.

Committee members, including Oku Kaunya, Yussuf Hassan, and Fred Ikana, outlined stakeholders’ requests for a tailored curriculum for schools accommodating students with special needs and the provision of complimentary healthcare for learners. They reiterated their dedication to ensuring equitable treatment for all students, including those with special needs, with intentions to submit a comprehensive report to parliament addressing the welfare of marginalized groups, such as the disabled, women, and caregivers who may receive financial aid from the National Government.

During consultations with stakeholders from various schools in the Western Region and Nyanza, concerns were raised about the safety of teachers in special schools. Representatives, such as the Executive Secretary of KNUT, Kakamega East Branch, and the Board of Management of Mukhonje Special School for the Mentally Challenged, requested hazard allowances for teachers due to their vulnerability to potential assaults by students.

The Committee gathered input from these consultations and plans to compile a detailed report for deliberation in the National Assembly.

The stakeholders emphasized the need for the Ministry of Education to address critical issues facing the school, including establishing vocational training facilities, increased funding allocation, stakeholder engagement, appropriate compensation for teachers, and infrastructure improvements to ensure proper educational provisions for students with special needs. The school’s aim is to enhance its capacity to deliver comprehensive education and support to these students in a conducive environment.

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