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210 teachers trained in managing children with disabilities

By Francis Emorut

Added 9th January 2020 09:04 PM

Ojok said the training was caused by the lack of skills teachers need to handle children with special needs, as most of them are not trained in that particular area.

210 teachers trained in managing children with disabilities

The executive director of Shynea Uganda Ruth Nalugya (centre) with Dr Femke Bannink Mbazzi and a child with special needs, Javis Owiny, addressing participants during a meeting on inclusive education at Sacred Heart Jinja Karoli Primary School in Wakiso district on Saturday, November 23, 2019. Photos by Francis Emorut

Ojok said the training was caused by the lack of skills teachers need to handle children with special needs, as most of them are not trained in that particular area.

CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES           EDUCATION


A total of 210 teachers and 580 parents in Wakiso district have been trained in handling children with disabilities.

  hildren with special needs enjoying a meal at acred eart inja aroli rimary chool in akiso district on aturday ovember 23 2019 Children with special needs enjoying a meal at Sacred Heart Jinja Karoli Primary School in Wakiso district on Saturday, November 23, 2019

 
The teachers were trained at Kyambogo University in the department of special needs, while parents were trained at Katooke Primary School.

According to Patrick Ojok, a senior lecturer at Kyambogo University, the teachers were taken through the checklist of children with special needs. 

The checklist includes cognitive learning, communication and social skills and daily living activities, as well as physical structures.

Ojok said the training was caused by the lack of skills teachers need to handle children with special needs, as most of them are not trained in that particular area. 

The training was sponsored by Shynea Uganda in conjunction with Ghent University.

Addressing parents of children with disabilities, Dr Pamella Nizeyimana from the education ministry said there is low enrollment of children with special needs in schools due to negative perception about their learning abilities. 

This was at Katooke Primary School in Kawempe Division, Wakiso district recently.

Nizeyimana enumerated some of the obstacles that hinder children with special needs from accessing education as poverty, inaccessible school buildings and overcrowded classrooms.

 jok addressing participants during a meeting on inclusive education for children with disabilities at acred eart inja aroli rimary chool in akiso district on aturday ovember 23 2019 Ojok addressing participants during a meeting on inclusive education for children with disabilities at Sacred Heart Jinja Karoli Primary School in Wakiso district on Saturday, November 23, 2019

 

Others are lack of trained teachers, lack of skills on the use of diverse teaching methods and lack of educational materials in schools.

Ojok pointed out that a study was conducted on evidence-based inclusive education for children with disabilities in Uganda and the results showed that the latter are less likely to go to school than children without disabilities.

He attributed low enrollment to negative perceptions about their learning abilities. 

Ojok, however, pointed out that the teachers, after undergoing training on the management of children with special needs, showed a positive attitude towards provision of learning materials for the latter and using sign language for communication. 

He said the intervention had a positive impact on parents' involvement, especially fathers, in supporting their children. 

  child with special needs ames addu waits to be helped to enter a hall as there are no tramps for easy access at acred eart inja aroli rimary chool in akiso district on aturday ovember 23 2019 A child with special needs James Kaddu waits to be helped to enter a hall as there are no tramps for easy access at Sacred Heart Jinja Karoli Primary School in Wakiso district on Saturday, November 23, 2019

 

Frederick Kinobe, the Wakiso district education officer, told the audience that the district has benefited from the training of teachers and will embark on providing facilities for children with special needs, such as ramps and VIP latrines. 

Ruth Nalugya, an official from Shynea Uganda, said children with special needs miss inclusive education and this needs to be addressed by all stakeholders.

She pointed out that teachers are not equipped to handle children with disabilities and national teachers' colleges do not have special programmes. 

Nalugya also blamed parents for ignorance on inclusive education for vulnerable children and said a lot of sensitisation needs to be done.

 

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