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Schools for the deaf hit by teacher shortage

Thursday January 18 2018

The Kenya Society for Deaf Children National

The Kenya Society for Deaf Children National Chairman Francis Ng'ang'a addressing journalists inn Nairobi on January 18, 2018. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

COLLINS OMULO
By COLLINS OMULO
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Kenya Society for the Deaf has called on the government to increase the number of teachers posted to special needs schools.

Mr Francis Ng'ang'a, the society’s national chairman said the ratio of teacher to child in schools for the deaf is 1 to 24 against the recommended fraction of 1 to 12.

This, he said, has affected the quality of education in the schools.

MATIANG'I

“We lack enough teachers and in many instances a class of 30 children only has a single teacher,” Mr Ng'ang'a said on Thursday at the Bible House in Nairobi where he was flanked by the society’s director Mr Kathenya Makarius.

The former Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) secretary general also urged Education acting Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to ensure funds for special needs schools were disbursed on time.

Mr Ng’ang’a decried the low number of children with hearing disabilities in special needs schools in the country.

He said most of them do not get the opportunity to go to school either because their parents are poor or have them stay at home to avoid stigmatization.

SPECIAL SCHOOLS

“We urge the government to help ensure that all the deaf children go to school because currently only a few attend special schools across the country,” said Mr Ng'ang'a.

He said there are only about 12, 000 deaf children in 118 special needs schools, from primary to tertiary level in Kenya.

He also mentioned the lack of learning materials as another issue affecting special schools.

“Hearing devices are not seen as a necessity,” he said.

At the same time, the society disbursed Sh750, 000 to 80 special needs students.