People Daily

State opens unit for mentally challenged pupils in Vihiga

Enock Amukhale @PeopleDailyKe

Mentally challenged children from Vihiga county will benefit from a special unit to cater for such cases that was opened at Ilungu Primary School in Emuhaya sub-county last week.

The unit, which consists of three classes and an administration office, was funded by the National Fund for the Disabled of Kenya (NFDK) at a tune of Sh2.5 million.

Speaking during the official opening of the unit, a trustee of the board, Peter Nyakiemo, said the facility will help disabled pupils access early childhood education in the area.

He encouraged parents with mentally handicapped children to take them to the institution for assistance instead of hiding them at home. “Parents with mentally challenged children should not feel shy, get ashamed or hide them at home.

They should make use of this facility by enrolling them here,” said Nyakiemo, adding that they are working with other stakeholders to raise awareness on disability issues in the country.

Nyakiemo said NFDK is also carrying out initiatives with relevant legislative authorities and other policy making bodies with view to bringing changes in legislation and shaping of public perception on disability.

Other institutions that have been funded by NFDK and commissioned include construction of classrooms at Lwanya Special School, St Vincent De Paul Special School, Itumbu Speacial Unit for the mentally handicapped, St Martin’s Mumias School for the Deaf, St Dennis Libolina School for the Physically Challenged and Apokor Special School.

The headteacher of the institution, Bulimo Omuchei, said there is an acute shortage of boarding facilities in Emuhaya to cater for mentally handicapped children, leading to overcrowding in his school.

“We need a boarding section to accommodate children who come far from the area. We have disabled pupils who come from outside this area and even from neighbouring counties. If we get boarding facilities, it will be a great help to such pupils,” Omuchei said.

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