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CBM in Kenya marks The Day of the African Child 2014

Student with hearing impairement presenting a policy paper on education and disability to the Cabinet Secretary of Education Prof Jacob Kaimenyi during the marking of the International Day of the African Child

Student with hearing impairement presenting a policy paper on education and disability to the Cabinet Secretary of Education Prof Jacob Kaimenyi during the marking of the International Day of the African Child

CBM in collaboration with the Ministry of Education in Kenya alongside over 10 disability and development organisation commemorated the 2014 Day of the African Child at Uhuru Park in Nairobi.

Child friendly, quality, free and compulsory education for all children

CBM in collaboration with the Ministry of Education in Kenya alongside over 10 disability and development organisation commemorated the 2014 Day of the African Child at Uhuru Park in Nairobi. The celebrations were flagged off by the Ministry of Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Joseph Kaimenyi who was also the chief guest of honor.
The procession consisting mainly of children with and without disabilities made it’s way through Nairobi’s Central business district to drive the 2014 theme of equal rights, equal opportunity, inclusive education for all children with disability. This day presented a great opportunity for children with disabilities to articulate the issues that affect them in their day to day life.
This year, a lot of emphasis has been placed on friendly, free, quality, and compulsory education for all children in Africa – whether they have an impairment or not. About 1,000 students from various schools added their voices in the celebrations through thematic song and dance.

Government commits more funds for education

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Cabinet Secretary of Education Prof Jacob Kaimenyi presenting keynote remarks during the marking of the International Day of the African Child

In his opening remarks, Prof. Kaimenyi urged education stakeholders and the participants at the event to continue with the noble cause they have started to ensure that children with disability are not subjected to discrimination in the pursuit of an education.
“The constitution clearly outlines the equal rights of all children. One of them is the right to education. We need to address the issue of poor enrollment and transition of our children especially those with disability from early childhood learning through to higher education. There is no excuse for this since the Government has increased funding to Primary schools from 10.3 to 13.5 Billion Shillings and Secondary schools from 20.9 to 28.2 Billion Shillings in this financial year. This is to ensure enrollment of children in our education system improves” he said.
“The concept of Inclusive education is a very positive move and we need to practice it in reality. The Education Act states that we should establish special needs identification centers in each county and ensure parents are aware of the available services,” he added.

Children with disability present their pleas

In a symbolic move, Prof. Kaimenyi was presented with a policy brief by two students with hearing impairment on behalf of the learners with disability. The brief highlighted four key issues that needed urgent address by the government;
  • Create opportunities to access quality education in a school in the local community.
  • To equip Education Assessment and Resource Centers (EARCs) with qualified personnel to ensure early identification and referral to relevant special needs institutions.
  • Conduct a survey to establish the population of children with disability and special needs. The initiation of this survey was agreed upon to begin in the coming 2 months.
  • Prepare school environments with infrastructure and appropriate devices for children to able to learn in a comfortable environment and to mainstream disability in all training opportunities in Kenya so that the youth with disability can access these opportunities that are available to them.

CBM’s commitment to inclusive education

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Part of the procession during the marking of the International Day of the African Child

In a speech read out by Sarah Wanjiru, CBM Capacity Development Coordinator, on behalf of the Regional Director, CBM noted that discrimination on the grounds of disability is widespread and is committed to the establishment of a clear, legal entitlement to protection from discrimination to reduce the vulnerability of children with disabilities and ensure that they have equal rights just like the children without disability.
Students from Kambui Primary school for the deaf, one of CBM’s partners were part of these celebrations.
The highlight of the event was a presentation by group of acrobats with disability -Young voices – who performed a solo act to the CBM ‘Twende Kazi’ theme song.
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