Bukoto Central member of Parliament Hon. Eng. Richard Sebamala has asked the government to construct a school for disabled children in Masaka District to provide holistic Education to these children.
Hon. Sebamala says the government allocates huge sums of money to the Ministry of Education but he wonders why Masaka district has no government school for special needs children.
Masaka District with its four sub counties of Kyanamukaaka, Kyesiiga, Buwunga and Bukakkata has no special needs school and by now most of the disabled children in the district are still home.
“Disabled children also have talents which must be developed through special needs education. It is quite expensive for parents to take care of disabled children, that’s why we ask the government to construct a school to provide free education to children with special needs.” Hon. Sebamala said.
Parents with disabled children told our reporter that the only schools with special needs education are situated in Masaka city and the neighboring districts.
Ms. Esther Namulindwa the Masaka district councilor for people with disabilities says children with cerebral pulses and those with physical disabilities using wheel chairs cannot travel long distances to go school, that’s why they need a school close to their homes of residence.
Masaka District had a few schools for children with special needs like Masaka school of the deaf Ndegeya in Bugabira sub county but the sub county was annexed to Masaka city and it takes one to travel a very long distance from Kyanamukaaka or Kyesiiga to access the school. Kijjabwemi rehabilitation center in Masaka city only offers vocational training for youth with disabilities who fail to go school but not the juniors.
According to available statistics it,is estimated that out of Uganda’s total population of 42 million people, 1.2% are either profoundly deaf or have a speech and hearing impairment. That means there are nearly half a million people who are deaf in Uganda. More than 75% of these deaf people are children below the age of 15. Unfortunately, many of these deaf children do not go to school. This is because of poverty, stigma, ignorance, and discrimination.
In Masaka district, a chance is only for parents who can afford to pay school fees in private schools that can take their disabled children to special needs schools in the neighboring districts like Kakunyu Inclusive School in Lwengo district, St. Mark school of the deaf Bwanda– Kalungu District, Misanvu school of children with special needs in Bukomansimbi district, Masaka school for children with special needs, among others.