Kenya Integrated Education Programme (KIEP) is part of the education activities mandated by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) and implemented by Kenya Society for the Blind with financial support from NGO donors. The program seeks to identify visually impaired (VI) learners and integrate them into the Kenyan public school system. The program currently supports 3,000 children across 541 schools in Kenya.
VI learners are identified for the program through parental and community referral. To facilitate this process, awareness building sessions are held with various stakeholders in different sectors to sensitize them about visual impairment and how to promote inclusion.
A key goal of the program is to improve the quality of education for pupils with VI. Thus KIEP works with local schools to create an inclusive learning environment where children with VI can learn alongside their peers. In particular KIEP makes provisions in three key areas:
1. Educational Materials:
Equipment such as slates, stylus and braille machines are bought to allow the pupils to write. Audio-readers and computer software may be bought to allow the pupils to follow class readings.
2. Teacher Training:
Teachers are identified from the regular integrating schools and attend a national 4 month training session. During this training, itinerant teachers are equipped with braille and low vision skills to facilitate assessment, teaching and support of learners with visual impairment in their schools.
A key element of implementation involves creating an inclusive environment for the pupil, eg. ensuring there is no discrimination at school. This involves meeting with all teachers and parents. Parents of out-of-school children are supported with information and in instances where the child’s family cannot afford school fees, scholarships are provided for the pupil.
By working with the MoEST the program seeks to entrench education programs for pupils with VI into ministry of education structures.
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CEI approaches in action
Provisions are allocated depending upon socio-economic status. Thus those unable to support themselves financially are a priority.
109 Itinerant Teachers: Public school teachers who are supported through training and or teaching resources.
543 Contact Teachers: Public school teachers who have direct contact with VI children and are supervised by the program coordinator (Some of these are also Itinerant Teachers)
19 program coordinators
Operate in 541 public schools
43 children on scholarships either at primary, secondary or university
The program was initiated in Nairobi to meet the governments need to support VI learners and to channel international donor money through a robust program. Initially the program was only implemented in Nairobi where VI children were identified and provisions were made to their local special school. In 2003 the program took on a more integrated approach and provisions were made to mainstream public schools to enhance the integration of VI learners. The program continued to support an increasing number of VI learners across Kenya until 2005 when beneficiaries were capped at 2500 due to resource constraints. Since the program launched, the provisions to schools have evolved, particularly with improvements in technology. The most recent addition is the braille notetaker.
Kenya School for the Blind are keen scale to all counties, which would be an addition of 25 more counties.
Monitoring & Evaluation
Monitoring and evaluation is carried out through school visits by Kenya School for the Blind (KSB). In an academic year, each school is visited once. The visit consists of observations, interviews and data analysis. Upon completion of the site visit a field monitoring report is produced and a file is updated for every sponsored child. The evaluation considers 3 key areas:
· Academics – Monitor pupil’s attendance. Monitor attainment through pupil report forms. Interview teachers and students to understand any challenges.
· Pupil relationships – ensure pupil is receiving required support from school community, ensure pupil is learning without discrimination, monitor pupil’s ability to perform every-day tasks and key life-skills. A counselor may attend for psycho-social support.
· Administration – monitor resources stocked and their usage and evaluate the learning environment.
Standardized Assessment Performance - Literacy | At primary school level just under half of the children with visual impairment are achieving average or above average scores in national examinations in spite of existing inequities in the examination system. Of the small numbers of children in secondary education, 27% achieved scores that meet the requirement for transition to tertiary education. (External Evaluation 07/2013)
Families have reported increased understanding of their children’s needs and communities in the target area have enhanced understanding of the capabilities of children and young people with disabilities. Children with VI report generally good social experiences in mainstream schools and in their communities and there is ample evidence of understanding of their needs by their sighted peers and their teachers, and of support from community institutions. (External Evaluation 07/2013)