By Andrew Ssenyonga
The Woman MP for Persons With Disability (PWDs) Safia Nalule has decried the reluctance by government to improve the education status of the PWDs in the country, saying that they have been sidelined.
According to Nalule, majority of the disabled persons don’t have access to education due to lack of schools, teachers and necessary scholastic materials.
“Government should provide equal opportunities to all its citizens but not sideline some of them. The president promised us schools in every region but we are yet to see them,” she said.
She made the remarks during a press discourse on the rights of children with disabilities at Esami House in Kampala on Tuesday.
Nalule said government needs to put in place facilities that are favorable for disabled people to guarantee a conducive learning environment.
“Let us walk the talk and make the conditions for disabled persons favorable. How many of our government-aided schools have equipment that enables children with disabilities to access quality education?” she asked.
She said that handicapped individuals are mostly left out during recruitment exercises by companies because they are believed to be short of academic qualification, countering their right to employment.
“Such people need support, and protection. Which police officer can take a statement from a deaf child? All these areas need to be improved upon.”
According to the Uganda National Household Survey 2005/2006, currently 7.2% (2.5 million) Ugandans have a disability. Most of these people however lack formal employment due to stigma and poor education.
The 2002 national census indicated that only 2.2% of PWDs in Uganda have attained secondary level education.
The same survey revealed that 90% of PWDs in Uganda do not go beyond Primary Level education. This may partly explain why employment opportunities are scarce for the PWDs.
Section 12 of part III of the Disability Act 2006 states that a person shall not discriminate against a qualified person based on disability regarding any job application procedure, hiring, promotion, compensation, job training and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment.