• He spoke during the second CISCO Bridge IT Academy graduation ceremony held at National Industrial Training Authority headquarters in Nairobi on Wednesday.
• Forty nine beneficiaries graduated with certificates in ICT during the event.
Persons living with disabilities are still encountering a number of challenges in accessing services despite significant ICT has played in their lives.
Labour and Skills Development PS Geoffrey Kaituko, however, says the government is working round the clock to ensure that ICT shifts into becoming a successful mediator in empowering people living with disabilities in the country.
"Digital proficiency is now among the most fundamental skills within the business environment,” the PS said.
He spoke during the second CISCO Bridge IT Academy graduation ceremony held at National Industrial Training Authority headquarters in Nairobi on Wednesday.
NITA partnered with a consortium of partners led by Sightsavers International to instill skills in youth with disabilities in an ICT-based programme in collaboration with CISCO.
Forty nine beneficiaries graduated with certificates in ICT during the event.
"The training of PLWS is required as soon as possible. Through such partnerships, we must each play our role in enhancing the accessibility of ICT among all,” Kaituko said.
The PS said the government was supporting policies aimed at monitoring compliance and implementation of ICT and disability rights obligations including those specified by national laws and the United Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
He said the Constitution was strong on disability rights, outlawing discrimination on grounds of disability in Article 27(4).
The section of the law provides that a person with disability shall be entitled to treatment with respect and dignity, access to all places, public transport and information and access materials and devices including for communication.
"Moreover, Kenya’s National ICT Policy OF 2016 outlines various measures aimed at making ICT accessible to persons with disabilities, including the provisions of assistive technologies, training and education alongside establishment of assistive technology centres,” Kaituko said.
NITA Director General Stephen Ogenga said all the graduates passed International CISCO Global exams and had been certified on CISCO Certified Technicians (CCT) and CISCO Certified Network Associates in Security (CCNA Security).
He said the core curriculum covered during the training included networking essentials, introduction to IPT, introduction to cyber security and work readiness training.
He said lower proportion of PLWS were employed within the formal sector as compared to other groups and overall population.
"NITA remains committed to championing inclusion in education and training which are critical in addressing and responding to the diversity of needs of learners through increased participation in access to schooling, learning processes and enhanced retention, completion and transformation to higher levels of learning,” Ogenga said.
NITA Board chairman Kamau Gachigi said he was delighted to witness the success of the partnership in ICT skilling.
Gachigi said the authority was committed to contributing to the production of a highly trained workforce with the relevant skills to fit in the job markets as well as supporting key sectors of the economy.
"In this respect, I would like to express our appreciation to the government for its continued support to the authority and its programmes," Gachigi said.
He said NITA had a long rich and proud history in skills advancement in Kenya.
"Indeed, when one talks of industrial training in Kenya, the authority is the first that comes to mind. Our mission statement commits the authority to ensuring the supply of adequate and well trained workforce for improved productivity for economic growth and development,” Gachigi said.