The government has been urged to come up with a different programme to examine hearing impairment special needs students, rather than examining them with the normal ones as they have no equal capabilities.
Speaking to West FM in his office, Kapsabet school for the deaf principal, secondary school section Mr. Alfred Tingiya said the government should change the curriculum for the deaf by finding a way of examining them differently from the normal ones to be catered for equally.
He said the government has been examining them like the normal students for KCPE and KCSE examinations a situation he termed as inequitable.
The deaf pupils do normal exams like any other child but the difference is that they are added more time in exams and the pass mark is 130 points and above for them to join any special secondary school in the republic of Kenya.
Kapsabet schools for the deaf
Kapsabet school for the deaf primary is a special school started way back in 1965 by the African Inland Mission Kapsabet as narrated by the school head teacher Mr. Peter Songok.
It was started by a missionary known as Elena Reinny who saw some deaf children and requested their parents to come and stay with them in her house to mentor them spiritually but eventually requested the church to start a special unit to cater for them in education.
Songok said they began it by putting up a classroom, an office and a house for a teacher and in 1968, when the school had grown up the government came in and took over as a public school.
Henceforth the school has been on the rise with the support of missionaries and Kenya society for the deaf which built the administration block, the dormitory and the workshop which was later converted to be a dining hall.
He clarified the government has been sending TSC Teachers to date as they have fourteen of them and that from the year 2003 up to now they have been getting funding through FPE and some grants for non-teaching staff and supplement boarding items like food.
The school is a full primary school right from ECD where all their school children comes from the ECD and has 2 ECD Teachers one employed by the county government of Nandi.
Kapsabet secondary school for the deaf is an institution which was instituted by the primary section as an initiative of the primary teachers together with the Board of management.
The institution was established under three main reasons,one, is the parents were having problems sending their children to other schools in Nairobi, Thika, Kiambu, Siaya and south Nyanza which was very far away, two, they wanted students to be closer to their parents so as to reach them and thirdly they wanted a secondary school of their own as they already had the facility.
The school which was in progress 2011 has grown and is almost over-weighing the primary section with a population of over one hundred students which is an achievement.
Currently the secondary school in the institution and other schools absorbs their children who complete KCPE. In last year’s KCPE they didn’t have even a single pupil who joined the school as they were all absorbed in other schools.
Academically the school has been improving every year and their children do well in extra curriculum activities as they will be meeting next week in Eldoret for regionals and Bungoma for nationals.
He said some of them have gone oversees to participate in sports especially in athletics but those who does not perform well in KCPE and KCSE join vocational studies for courses like tailoring, hair beauty/saloon and masonry amongst other courses.
In vocational the institution has integrated the deaf and the hearing so as to benefit the community.
School lack important facilities
The institution lacks a library, laboratory, enough classrooms, and playing field among other requirements thus the principal appeals to the government to methodically consider the facilitating it.
The most critical problem the school has is lack of enough teachers as it has 3 employed by TSC and 8 by Board Of Management which is a greater problem.
Challenges on secondary section
The challenges facing both the three institutions of primary, secondary and vocational is payment of school fees as parents have to be put on pressure to pay it.
Most students come from humble background families who believe that special children should be catered for by the government.
The school also need enough space as they share primary facilities on a 5 acre piece of land thus appeals to the central government and county government to set aside funds to assist the school buy enough land.
The institutions has no school bus, something the principal says would be of help.
The deaf students together with their teachers are still casting their hope on president Uhuru Kenyatta’s promise last year that they shall be given a school bus.