VISUAL, HEARING IMPAIRMENT

State urged to add tutors in colleges for special needs students

Official says Machakos college has 33 special needs students but lacks tutors

In Summary

• Official says books and other learning materials are not accessible to the students with special needs in teachers' colleges. 

• Machakos college is the only P1 teachers' college in the region which offers courses to students with special needs in all three categories (visual, hearing and physical). 

The Ministry of Education has been urged to add more qualified teaching personnel for students with special needs and disabilities in teachers' colleges.

Speaking in Machakos Town on Friday, Machakos Teachers College chief principal Dr Lucy Mugambi said the institution is committed to accommodating more students with special needs but are challenged getting qualified staff to offer quality education to the students. 

She said the college has more than 33 students with either visual or hearing impairment–out of 439 students–but it lacks teaching aids forcing the institution to use other students to help them. 

"Our students with hearing or visual impairment don't have official teaching aid personnel to assist them and therefore during teaching practice, they rely on other students to help them out," she said. 

She said books and other learning materials are not accessible to the students with special needs and that it has been their greatest challenge. 

Mugambi was speaking during the 59th graduation ceremony of the institution. 

where she also urged the ministry to allocate more learning materials to all teacher training colleges to ensure the students get a high-quality education. 

She noted, " The quality of education is dependent on the quality of the teacher and this is an area which is often forgotten. As we start the CBC system, I urge the ministry to consider and pay attention to this with a theme of enhancing the quality of education." 

The principal also revealed that even though the college has 55 teaching staff, it lacks for the students with disabilities.

"We have a deficit of teachers for students with visual and hearing impairment." 

The college is the only P1 teachers' college in the region which offers courses to students with special needs in all three categories (visual, hearing and physical impairment) unlike Asumbi and Msoliot Teachers colleges which only accommodate one category.

According to the chief principal, the college accommodates all students without discrimination to make them feel supported by teaching them in an inclusive environment. 

Board of Management chairman Tito Musyoka said the school needed renovation and additional infrastructure urging the ministry to support the institution in enhancing its infrastructure. The current ones have been there since 1968.

He called on graduands to improve and furnish the foundation they had laid in their academic journey and continue improving on their academic performance.

Edited by R.Wamochie