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Govt Urges Colleges to Enroll More Students With Disabilities

FILE: One of the capped graduands with relatives and friends at Chinhoyi University. (Phot: Arthur Chigoriwa)

Higher Education Deputy Minister, Godfrey Gandawa, says institutions of higher learning should enroll more students with disabilities as the government pushes to promote inclusive education in the country and remove all forms of discrimination from the education sector.

Speaking at a recent graduation at Masvingo Teacher's College, Gandawa said special needs education is pertinent in the country’s curriculum, adding that colleges and tertiary institutions must embrace the policy.

Gandawa said colleges must therefore enroll more students with disabilities.

Gandawa commended colleges like Masvingo Teachers and the United College of Education in Bulawayo which now have an affirmative enrollment policy for students with disabilities.

Makanaka Gumbo, a Harare resident, applauded the government for pushing colleges and universities to enroll more students living with disabilities.

A journalist with disabilities and works with people with disabilities, Patrick Musira, also supported the idea saying it was a noble call but noted that colleges and institutions of higher learning should also ensure that education institutions have facilities that are friendly to people with disabilities.

Director for the Centre for Disability and Development, Masimba Kuchera, said the move by the education ministry is good but added that it must be enunciated well as a government policy so that it becomes mandatory for all colleges and tertiary institutions to give a quota for students with disabilities.

But he said appropriate infrastructure will be key if all colleges were to enroll students with all forms of disabilities.

National Association of Societies for the Care of the Handicapped (NASCOH) disability expert, Fambaineni Magweva, concurred with Kuchera, adding that enrolling students with disabilities in the absence of the necessary support would be more disabling than the disability itself.

Zimbabwe has more than two million people living with disabilities.