Grassroots Approach to Inclusive Education in Kenya

One boy speaks and gestures with his hands while five other boys listen. Behind them is a group of people in chairs, some of them with disabilities.
  • The Accomplishment

  • What Worked

  • About the Author

Inclusive education practices are growing in Kenya, but many barriers continue to exist for developing an inclusive education system. The barriers are being addressed by bringing the community together to identify the best ways to minimize their impact on inclusive education. This grassroots approach to inclusive education on a national scale is necessary for students with disabilities to gain sustainable access to a quality inclusive education system in Kenya.

Two inclusion committees were formed at two school sites and included:

  • Students with and without disabilities
  • Parents of students with and without disabilities
  • Teachers from primary and special schools
  • Administrators from primary and special schools
  • Members of the local Ministry of Education
  • Community members with and without disabilities

Each inclusion committee had between 20-25 members at any given meeting. The availability of Fulbright grant funding allowed for the committees to meet on a weekly basis.

The committees set two types of objectives which identified three additional goals in each category:

1. Inclusion goals

Inclusion goals pertained specifically to increasing the number of children with disabilities accessing inclusive primary education.

2. Sustainability goals

The three sustainability goals targeted how to sustain ongoing conversations on inclusive education and disability rights when grants funds ran out.

Each inclusion committee developed an income-generating activity (IGA) to raise funds to sustain the project in the absence of grant funds. Both inclusion committees decided to rear local breeds of chicken to sell in order to raise money for committee administration costs, to pay for committee member allowances for transport, and to supply refreshments for each committee meeting.