Uganda Lacks a Special Needs Education Policy

3434 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Jeruth Tinka, the Senior Education Officer for Special Needs Education policy in the Education Ministry, says they drafted the Special Needs policy in 2012, but it was never sent to parliament for discussion and approval.

Government is yet to enact a law on special needs education policy almost seven years since it was drafted. Jeruth Tinka, the Senior Education Officer for Special Needs Education in the Education Ministry, says they drafted the Special Needs policy in 2012, but it was never sent to parliament for discussion and approval.
 
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According to Tinka, absence of a Special Needs policy makes it difficult for persons with special needs to access meaningful education.  Although the available laws on Universal education in Uganda provide some guidelines for special needs, they are insufficient.
 
She says as result, many people with special needs can't access certain education services since they are not catered for by government. Miriam Adong, a Special Needs Instructor at Kyambogo University says the avalaible guidelines require teachers handling special needs pupils to use sign language, special text book, brails and sets the pupil- teacher ratio at 1 teacher to 10 pupils.
 
She however, says without a Special Needs policy and law, school fail to allocate a special budget for special needs teachers and scholastic materials. Adong says without these educational provisions, it is impossible to have two or more teachers in class to teach the Special Needs and other pupils who according to the Universal Primary Education guidelines, must study under the same roof.
 
Moses Bazigu, a Special Needs teacher at Kamuli primary school in Wakiso district, says the situation is appalling and requires government intervention.


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David Mulwana, a school administrator who spoke on behalf of the head teacher, says they can't purchase scholastic materials for special needs pupils due to lack of scholastic materials. The above situation in primary schools accounts for the failure of Special Needs Education in Uganda.
According to the Ministry of Education Special Needs department an average of 800 pupils who special needs education is registered in each of the 112 districts of Uganda.