KCB Foundation in New Special Education Partnership

The KCB Foundation, in partnership with the Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE), today signed a deal that will see bright needy students living with disabilities access quality education through under the Foundation’s scholarship program.

In keeping with the vision 2030 objective to adequately address issues that directly affect People Living with Disabilities (PLWDs), the KCB Foundation has joined up with KISE to design, develop and execute mechanisms to enable effective management and mentorship of the scholarship beneficiaries with disability.

The partnership will see KCB Foundation identify and assist in recruiting students with disability across the country for its scholarship programme, while KISE will work to provide guidelines for identification and recruitment of the students, KCB Foundation Executive Director Jane Mwangi. “Education is one of the most crucial investments a country can make in its people and the country’s future. It is a critical driver in the reduction of poverty and the importance of making education inclusive to children living with disabilities cannot be overstated,” she said adding that the number of school going children with special needs could be increased if more opportunities are given to them.

According to a report by the Special School Heads Association of Kenya (2016), one in every ten Kenyans under the age of 21 is disabled. This translates to a situation where only 45,000 special needs students are in school.

“Education plays a critical role in fostering development, allowing people with disabilities gain agency over their own lives, while enabling them break the stigma that has long been associated with having any form of disability” said Ms Mwangi, at the Starehe Boys Center while launching the KCB Foundation’s week-long mentorship session for scholars under the Bank’s scholarship scheme. The mentorship session has brought together at least 1000 KCB Foundation scholarship beneficiaries and alumnus.

The scholarships programme by KCB Foundation seeks to improve access to and quality of education for needy students, through the provision of scholarships, learning materials and improved public school infrastructure. So far, at least 1300 students have benefited from this programme since 2015.

The partnership between the two institutions was in a bid to enhance the government’s efforts in sustaining an equitable and inclusive educational system.

KISE Director, Elkanah K. Lagatt, lauded the efforts that have so far been made by government to promote access to education for this group.

“The government through the Kenya Education Sector and Support Programme (KESSP) has been able to increase access to education for people with disabilities. Through this initiative, the number of students with special needs in school has grown to around 50,000 students,” Mr Lagatt.

Currently, the Government has set up the National Development Fund, which is aimed at promoting entrepreneurship for persons with disabilities and promoting access to assistive devices and training.  The fund is complemented by the National Fund for the Disabled of Kenya, which supports persons with disabilities for empowerment programmes and development programmes.

Additionally, through the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) initiative, vulnerable groups are now eligible to supply 30% of all public procurement. This initiative states that a minimum of 2% of these procurement opportunities should go to persons with disabilities, in order to give them a chance to change their economic fortunes.

This year, KCB Foundation will add to its Scholarship stable 240 beneficiaries, out of which 40 slots will be reserved for students with disabilities.

“I am happy to report that so far, we have offered a total of 120 scholarship opportunities to students living with disabilities. This will ensure that quality education is available to them so that despite their disability, they are empowered to reach their full potential,” said Ms Mwangi.

The KCB Foundation mentorship forum, is an annual event that brings together the Foundation’s scholarship beneficiaries from around the country. The week long boot camp seeks to inculcate leadership values and transform attitudes and behaviour for academic excellence and overall personal development for the students. The boot camp is a fulfilment of the role of youth in achieving the 2030 sustainable agenda that seeks to ensure inclusive and equitable, quality education and promote lifelong opportunities for all.


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