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Diploma in Special Needs

Course Rationale
A high percentage of children who have been assessed and have been found to have special needs are not in schools and the small percentage who are in school attend special institutions. With the current trend of education inclusion majority of those children can be educated along side the non-disabled in the regular schools. This calls for training of more qualified teachers who can work effectively in an inclusive education setting.
The Government of Kenya through its session paper no 1 of 2008 on policy framework for education, Training and Research stated that:

  1. Special Education is important for Human Capital Development as it prepared those who are most likely to be dependents to become self – reliant.
  2. Special education has for a longtime been provided in special schools and special units attached to regular schools. (Now termed as inclusive Education through Regular Schools (IERS) to cater for children with special needs in areas of Hearing Impairments. Visual Impairment; Maintained physically challenges.
  3. Inclusive Education as it is stated in the session’s paper no 1 of (2008) does not cater for Gifted and Talented children, children with Psychological differences, artisan, multiple handicapped and children with specific learning difficulties and communication Disorders.

It is with these challenges in mind that Mt. Kenya University has seen it imperative to design curriculum that could offer Diploma in Special Needs Education to reduce the Contry’s Educational Challenges relating to access, equity and completion rate in the provision of education and Training to children with special needs. The children suffer from:-

  1. Lacking clear cut on guidelines and support to the implementation of an all inclusive education policy
  2. Lack of data in children with special needs.
  3. Inadequate tools, and skills in the identification of assessment procedures of such children from the society.
  4. Lack of mainstreaming special education programmes in the education sector.
  5. There is appropriate infrastructure coupled by inadequate facilities and lack of equipment. All these are compounded by inadequate capacity by the Government and Teachers who handle the children with special needs. The service providers also lack coordination capability due to inadequate placement of such children with normal ones. This has been coupled by lack of trained personnel, learning materials and inadequate supervisory and monitoring procedures of all special education programmes.

Why Study the Programme
To train teachers who will address the need of special kids in our society. It should also be noted that the Millennium development goal No. 1 Article 6 states that the goals of eradicating poverty, and achieving EFA cannot be realized unless children and adults with disabilities are included as they are poor and vulnerable.

Target Groups
The global education development community set common targets for itself as early as 2008 in Joumtien, and subsequently in 2009 in Dakar, and once more in UN Millennium Summit. Some of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) cover education. These include: (i) The right to education for all is clearly spelled out in the declaration and the MDGs and for these goals to be fully realized every Nation and its citizens must take part and interpret what the goals say. It is in this strength that MKU has strongly come out to support education of persons with Special Needs by offering a Diploma course to teachers who are already trained in regular education. Furthermore, with the Universal Primary Education (UPE) in force quite a lot still remains to be realized. MKU aims to reach out those children who have disabilities in Kenya and are in ** need to be educated through this programme.

Programme Objectives

  1. Equip the students with market driven skills in special needs education.
  2. Enhance and increase the number of teachers who re trained and equipped with relevant and appropriate skills and techniques for working with learners in Special Needs Education.
  3. Empower students to become effective and capable of meeting the needs of learners in Special Needs in inclusive settings.
  4. Carry out assessment and identification procedures on Special Needs Education children.
  5. Provide students with necessary skills to carry out research related to Special Needs. Education.
  6. Enlarge as trained teachers in special Needs Education.

Entry Requirements
be admitted into the Diploma in Special Needs Education programme, a student      must fulfill the following requirements:
a)    Aggregate mean grade of C (plain) and above  in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) or any other relevant qualifications recognized by the senate  OR
b)    A Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education with an average grade C- (C minus) and any other certificate relevant to the field.       OR
c)    Applicants who have not taken any of the above examinations must produce acceptable documentary evidence of having passed an examination of equivalent status.

Exemptions and Credit Transfers

  1. Evidence supporting the application should include certified academic transcripts, certificates and a letter from the relevant registrar or authority
  2. Application for credit transfer will not be allowed three (3) weeks after the start of the semester / trimester unless granted permission by the University Senate.
  3. The University reserves the right to administer an appropriate test, through the relevant Department in order to determine whether exemption should be granted.

Programme Duration
Seven(7) Trimesters (full time) 7 sessions (school based)


Download the most recent fee structure here

Application form

Applications can be downloded here , you can also submit your application online here

Programme Start Dates
Every January, May and Sept

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