Some deaf youths who have made it to Grade 10 are allegedly being denied school places to further their education in mainstream schools in Kitwe, the Zambia Deaf Youth and Women (ZDYW) has revealed.
ZDYW executive director Frankson Musukwa said the schools denying the deaf students a chance to further their education in mainstream schools in Kitwe were infringing on the rights of persons with disabilities as stipulated in persons with disabilities Act No 6 of 2012.
Mr Musukwa said that his organization was sending a stern warning to Education administrators that it would start take legal action.
“We have received reports of deaf youths who have made it to Grade 10 being denied opportunities to further their education in mainstream schools in Kitwe. We wish to put it on record that such schools are infringing on the rights of persons with disabilities as stipulated in Persons with Disabilities Act No 6 of 2012.
“As an organization, we want to send a stern warning to education administrators that effective tomorrow we will commence litigation against any head teacher who contravenes this law. Schools were built for all Zambian children so why deny deaf children, the opportunity to access education on the basis of their deafness?” Mr Musukwa said.
He explained that Article 22,(2)(b) stipulates that Persons with Disabilities can access an inclusive, quality and free primary education, secondary education and higher education on an equal basis with others in communities in which they live while (2)(c), stipulates that reasonable accommodation of the individual requirements of persons with disabilities is provided.
Mr Musukwa further said Article 25 (1) stipulates that “A person responsible for admission into an educational institution or other institution of learning shall not refuse to give admission to a person with a disability, unless the person with disability has been assessed by the agency, in consultation with the ministry responsible for health, to be a person who requires to be in a Special school for children or persons with disabilities”.
He said according to the law, a person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and was liable upon conviction, to a penalty not exceeding two hundred thousand penalty units.
Mr Musukwa said further to the above piece of law, his organization had engaged the office of Kitwe DEBS who informed him that there was a directive coming from the Office of the Permanent Secretary Ministry of General Education and the Provincial Education Office that all secondary schools must have special education units country wide.
“We have set our goal high to ensure no stone is left unturned in our advocacy work for better and secure Zambia for deaf youths,” He said.