Vernacular Radio Stations and Inclusive Education in marginalized communities in Kenya

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John Ndavula
Jackline Lidubwi


Inclusive education, vernacular radio, inclusion


This paper addresses a qualitative research project concerning the role of vernacular radio in promoting inclusive education among rural communities Kenya. It suggests that the media plays a crucial role in highlighting inclusive education as an educational approach and philosophy that provides all students with community membership and greater opportunity for academic and social achievement. The study involved interviews with 20 key informants who included radio presenters, producers and stakeholders in inclusive education in Kenya. Findings indicate that few vernacular radio stations aired disability specific content despite the fact that existing broadcasting laws provide a framework for broadcasters to include disability specific content in their programming. Some radio stations aired a wide array of topics on disability but failed to capture specific issues relating to inclusive education for children with disabilities. Radio packaged disability content into a variety of program formats providing multiple angles for stories on children with disabilities. The use of inclusive language in reporting was more likely to influence societal perceptions towards education for children with disabilities. Few inclusive education stakeholders were involved in generating content on inclusive education for radio and even fewer disability activists used vernacular radio to champion the rights for children with disabilities. The study recommends that vernacular radio stations should broadcast more disability specific information on inclusive education. Furthermore, disability stakeholders should engage with producers in radio stations to do this accurately.

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