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PWDs' parents petition top schools for inclusion

By Clare Muhindo

Added 15th July 2016 09:04 AM

State minister for primary education Rosemary Sseninde pledged to advocate for the training of teachers in handling children with disability.

PWDs' parents petition top schools for inclusion

The state minister for Primary Education, Rosemary Sseninde (right) talks to Stella Chandiru (left) UNICEF's education specialist and Sarah Ayesiga the principal education officer special needs education after the opening of the Uganda consensus building meeting on inclusive education at Metropole Hotel on Thursday July 14, 2016. Photo /Francis Emorut

State minister for primary education Rosemary Sseninde pledged to advocate for the training of teachers in handling children with disability.

Parents to children with disabilities have called upon top schools in the country to offer services that accommodate all children despite their disability.

Narrating her experience with raising a deaf child, Dr. Joyce Nalugya Sserunjogi, the chairperson Board of Directors at The National Association of Parents of Deaf Children (NAPADEC) said it was very hard to find a good secondary school for her deaf daughter, since most of the good schools did not offer accommodative services.

Nalugya who is also a consultant psychiatrist at Mulago hospital said that she discovered that her daughter was deaf as early as six months.

"My husband and I started learning sign language when she was about nine months, so as to understand how to communicate with her," she said.

Although it was easy to get a primary school for the child, Nalugya said it was quite tricky enrolling her into a good secondary school.

"We visited several schools, including the international ones, but they would tell us that they do not take on such children. When we finally reached Merryland high school in Entebbe, they said they had never dealt with such, but were willing to do so if we oriented them on how to take care of that child," she added.

"The school gave us an entire day to create awareness before the child started school.
She was the first deaf child they ever taught, so we had to identify and interpreter."

Much as the fees became expensive for the family, since they had to pay the interpreters salary and accommodation fees, the family and the school reaped big from their investment.

 he state minister for rimary ducation osemary seninde left talks to edi sengooba in a wheel chair the programme officer isability ights und after the opening of the ganda consensus building meeting on inclusive education at etropole otel The state minister for Primary Education Rosemary Sseninde (left) talks to Medi Ssengooba (in a wheel chair), the programme officer Disability Rights Fund after the opening of the Uganda consensus building meeting on inclusive education at Metropole Hotel.

 
Nalugya says that by the time the child reached senior four, all her classmates had learnt how to use sign language and would interpret for her whenever the interpreter would be away. She adds that the school has now enrolled three more speech impaired children.

She thus called upon government to extend inclusive education to schools that have showed excellence in education.

She was speaking at a consensus building workshop on inclusive education, organised by the ministry of education, UNICEF and the Uganda society for the disabled, at Metropole hotel in Kampala.

Also sharing her experience as a person with disability, Helen Grace Azambo, the Eastern region MP for people with disabilities said she left Makerere University because she would handle.
"While at Makerere University, I would climb stair cases to the lecturer room slowly, and by the time I reached there, the lecturers would be done. I left and went to Kyambogo," she said.

Nonetheless, the state minister for primary education Rosemary Sseninde pledged to advocate for the training of teachers in handling children with disability.

According to the 2014 housing and population census, 12 per cent of children aged 14 and below, are living with disabilities.

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