EDUCATION Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi wants disabled pupils to get an extra two years on top of the mandatory eight years of primary education.
He also said that government should consider giving disabled pupils extra time in exams.
We have to be very careful not to actually discriminate against disabled pupils under the guise of helping them.
Deaf, blind or physically disabled pupils are not stupid. They just have special problems that make school difficult for them.
They do not need extra years at school. What they need are extra facilities to compensate for their disabilities.
Ideally deaf and blind children should go to special schools where they can get the dedicated teaching they need.
Physically disabled children do not need special schools but they may need special facilities at school like ramps and disabled lavatories. They may also need financial subsidies to get to school if they cannot walk there.
So let us not patronise disabled pupils by giving them extra time while denying them the special facilities that they genuinely need.
Government needs to find the resources to make Kenyan schools friendly to disabled pupils who will then show us that they are just as intelligent as any other Kenyan.
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