RECENTLY I listened intently to a worried couple whose child, in a candidate class, wants to have his work printed in large font to enable him read with ease. For a child struggling with reading, accuracy and speed, the chances of grasping examination que
and Mathias Safari
RECENTLY I listened intently to a worried couple whose child, in a candidate class, wants to have his work printed in large font to enable him read with ease. For a child struggling with reading, accuracy and speed, the chances of grasping examination questions are low.
Fortunately, some children with disabilities can be allowed examination concessions (special exam session) by the Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB).
The concessions normally include, among others, additional time and reading of questions to the candidate so that he or she can clearly interpret them.
This is, however, possible in evidently severe cases where the child will not be able to cope with the general setting of the exam. Once parents or guardians present genuine reports from medical doctors, psychologists and teachers, the examining body can approve such requests.
â€œYour child with a disability can be assisted, depending on his or her specific need,â€ says Edna Nibiyizi, an officer at UNEBâ€™s Special Needs Education desk.
â€œWe team up with candidates who have disabilities such as blindness, mental retardation and physical impairment in primary and secondary schools. But the problem is that a good number of them are never registered,â€ Nibiyizi says.
Requests for special arrangement and considerations should be submitted and supported by the head of the examination centre. Below are tips on how to make such an appeal:
After submitting the application, UNEB will forward the case to the Kyambogo-based Special Needs desk for further management. Later, a specialist will be sent to the childâ€™s school to confirm his disability.
This will be followed by preparation of the material needed, for instance, the braille for the deaf, sign interpreter for the deaf, etc.
Those with concessions are given extra time, ranging from 30 minutes to an hour.
However, not all candidates with special needs qualify for the concessions. It is only those who pass UNEBâ€™s ratings. This, however, should not discourage concerned parents from seeking help.
In case of emergencies, for instance, when a student gets an accident and loses an arm towards the examination period, the board will send someone to write for him, or better still, a cassette player could be used to record what the student would have submitted.
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Some children need special care during exams