Education
'Provide more funds for special needs education'
Publish Date: Aug 18, 2014
'Provide more funds for special needs education'
Kyambogo University - School of special needs education
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Stephen Ssenkaaba

KAMPALA - There is need for better funding for special needs education in Uganda, Edson Ngirabakunzi, the Executive Director of the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda has said.

Special needs education has been on the agenda of the government of Uganda for more than twenty years.

While in the past it mostly referred to children with disabilities, today it covers a much wider scope to include any situation that presents a barrier to accessing education for children of school-going age.

There is need for more funds to be allocated to special needs programmes, including the support to leaners with disabilities as one of the sure ways of realizing education for all.

“Without enough resources, the quality of many children with special needs will be greatly compromised,” he said recently in an interview at his office in Bukoto.

“Enough resources mean that schools will have scholastic materials and that more teachers to support learners will be allocated to this very critical area.”

Currently, special needs education receives sh2.06bn of the entire education budget, which, Bakunzi says represents a mere 0.12% of the allocation to the education sector.

Compared to last financial year, this represents a reduction, Bakunzi said. “We need an increase to at least have 1% of the education budget.”

Over the last decade or so, government has put more emphasis on enrolling children with special needs into an inclusive environment. Under the inclusive arrangement, all mainstream schools are expected to admit and teach pupils irrespective of their abilities or disabilities.

‘We are trying our best’

Apart from those with severe disabilities whose unique cases might require special schools, all children with disabilities are expected to be fully integrated into ordinary schools.

This is in line with the government’s Universal Primary Education (UPE) which seeks to provide equal access to education to all children by 2015 as stipulated in the Education for All (EFA) policy.

However, schools continue to struggle with inadequate facilities and teachers, making education for special needs learners more complicated.

Whilst acknowledging the constraints in funding, the government reaffirms its commitment to supporting special needs and inclusive education.

Francis Akope, the principle education officer for inclusive education at the ministry of education and sports had this to say.

“We are trying our best within the available means to support special needs and inclusive education.”

He said that for now where possible, inclusive education will be encouraged and where special schools are available, they will be encouraged.

In some schools, special needs annexes will be encouraged in ordinary schools that practice inclusion to support learners with special needs.

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Two professors to teach classes from under the sea
Two US professors will spend 73 days in an underwater laboratory near the Florida Keys, where they'll teach courses via Internet in an attempt to break a world record....
UNEB: O
This year’s Senior Four candidates start their final examinations today, with a briefing in the 3,006 centres across the country....
Celebrate your teacher, send us a picture
Teachers all over the world, last weekend, celebrated the World Teacher’s Day under the theme, “Unite for Quality Education.”...
The mystery shrouding UPE capitation grants
There have been recent debates arising from inconsistencies in the amount of capitation grants sent to UPE schools....
A Makerere University political science lecturer says money can never be ruled out “because politics requires campaign financing to facilitate the logistics required”....
DStv Eutelsat Star awards competition open
Students have yet another opportunity to participate in the International DStv Eutelsat satellite technology competition....
Should diplomatic passports issued to ex-govt workers be with drawn?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter