SIDELINED

Special needs students struggle using face masks - PS

In Summary

•Learners who have hearing impairment use the mouth as part of sign language.

• Face masks seen as a challenge in the education sector - PS.

Crops and Agri- Research PS Hamadi Boga and Tourism PS Safina Kwekwe signs a visitor's book at Mwanyamo Primary School in Voi,Taita Taeta County on Monday
FACT FINDING: Crops and Agri- Research PS Hamadi Boga and Tourism PS Safina Kwekwe signs a visitor's book at Mwanyamo Primary School in Voi,Taita Taeta County on Monday
Image: SOLOMON MUINGI

Wearing of facemasks has negatively affected learning activities in special needs institutions, Crops and Agri- Research PS Hamadi Boga has said.

Addressing the press at Mwanyamo Primary School in Voi, Taita Taveta County on Monday, the PS said the special needs learners highly depend on visual learning.

“Learners who have hearing impairment will definitely use the mouth as part of sign language. Our team of officials has noted that as a key challenge in the education sector,” he said during an inspection tour at learning institutions in the county.

Boga was accompanied by Fisheries, Aquaculture and blue Economy PS Micheni Ntiba, Tourism PS Safina Kwekwe, Taita Taveta County Commissioner Rodah Onyancha and County Education Director Simon Wanjohi among others.

He said the team shall write recommendations to the Ministry of Education and other policy makers to adopt an alternative system that fully supports learning for all students while protecting them from contracting the coronavirus.

“We are on fact finding a mission and some of our recommendations will be on how special education can be made favourable amid the pandemic,” he noted.

The PS further noted that at least 90 percent of primary and secondary school learners in the county have already reported in school.

The remaining percentage, he said, consists of expectant girls who have opted to stay at home.

“Provisional administration officials are currently looking for all the students yet to report in school. We are encouraging expectant girls to resume learning until a time they can proceed for maternity,” he added.

The officials lauded the school management boards for strictly adhering to all protocols set to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

They however noted that boarding schools were still battling overcrowding challenges, further noting that most schools had received funds to set up additional classrooms and dormitories.

According to the officials, most learners have commendable awareness on ways of combating the virus.