Albinism in School & Work
Majority of Person with Albinism encounter various challenges in school and at work. Discrimination and stigmatisation are among the main challenges in these spheres. Learners with albinism, in their early stages of education, have always narrated instances of ridicule, from their fellow schoolmates who have no disability. To worsen the situation, some teachers and other service providers in the educational institutions are totally unaware of how to handle or interact with learners who have albinism. The prevailing conditions make it difficult for learners with albinism to learn.
One befitting example is a learner with albinism from Mumbetsa Primary School, in Kakamega County. The learner reported instances where his Mathematics teacher would literally beat him for failing to see the blackboard not knowing that Persons with Albinism have low vision, thus cannot see what is written on the blackboard without using optical devices. Teachers who are unaware of albinism complicate matters for bright pupils with albinism who would otherwise have excelled academically if given a favorable learning environment. It is for these reasons that Albinism Society of Kenya advocates for inclusion of albinism in the education curriculum, to make teachers and caregivers in these learning institutions aware of how to handle or interact with learners with albinism.
At highschool level, Kenyatta University has been at the forefront in capturing the aspect of albinism in its special education curriculum which has empowered graduate teachers to handle students with albinism in high school and at tertiary levels of learning. At the workplace, Persons with Albinism have reported instances where they have openly been discriminated against, especially those who work in institutions where employers or other employees are illiterate. Formal employment offered by Banks, Civil Societies and the public sector, offer a ray of hope, since discrimination is quite low. Institutions which have openly embraced Person with Albinism and furthered efforts to mainstream issues around albinism include Carrefour, Shoprite, Safaricom Limited, L’Oreal, National Bank of Kenya, Barclays Bank, Kenyatta University, various Government Ministries, State Departments, the Civil Society and other disability organizations.