Thursday, 18 April 2013


Mr. George Mainja Kasese DEO talking to  Mr. Eric Kamwenge DEO who had led a team to learn from Kasese 9th April, 2013
As a plan of Action from the district consultative for vulnerable groups and the district Education stakeholders meeting 7 Kamwenge district leaders participated in a two days learning visit in Kasese district on inclusive Special Needs Education from 9th -10th , April, 2013.  The team from Kamwenge included the Hon. Gerald Twebaze District speaker, Mr. Eric Tumwiringire the District Education Officer, Inspector of schools (SNE), District councilor for PWD, a teacher from St. Anthony P/S that is catering for the vulnerable and a youth counselor representing the secretary for education.
The Mr.George Mainja  Kasese District Education Officer, started by giving the history of special needs education that started at Rukoki Model P/s which was later extended to Kinyamaseke P/S.  Without any secondary education to cater for special needs Education, most children would drop out after P.7 which made the district to earmark Saad Memorial SS  in 2012 that currently secures funding from the ministry to the tune 2.500.000 on the quarterly basis and NUDIPU which facilitated them with a latrine 10 million shillings for ramps ad latrine to cater for the PWD. Organizations like BTC have greatly contributed to realization of special needs education by constructing a dormitory at Kinyamaseke Primary School as well as facilitating trainings for teachers during Holidays.
In his key note address the district Education Officer, Kasese emphasized that for special needs education to be realized the Local government needs to have interest in the intervention which will attract other stakeholders to give a helping hand   therefore Kasese district initiated special needs education and the development patterns followed as it was a priority for the district. The district has also involved PWDs in district functions so that they are exposed to people for support.
How will  the exchange visit address the challenges of Kamwenge District in implementing inclusive  education where the only school that had started offering special needs educated was diverted from Kamwenge P/s and taken up as a church project which is now private. Even when development partners like UNICEF and FINLAND plan to provide beds and build a dormitory   they have no teachers to teach sign language and brail. The children with special needs education drop out in P.4 because they do not see a future after P7. The DEO advised the team from Kamwenge that if they are to succeed in implementing special needs education they need to establish a district management team as in the case of Kasese district which is composed of 13 members and Chaired by the CAO to guide implementation. Advocacy by children with special needs themselves and a case in point was when the children with special needs after P.7 went to the District Chairperson  and the Chief Administrative to ask about their future after P.7. Also most important, the team was advised to consider special needs education in the District Development plans and Budget. On the part of teachers the district should register and deploy teachers according to special needs in the schools as well as encourage more teachers training in SNE. The SMC and PTA could also be a target as Kasese district is also trying to influence the school management committees and PTA to consider having Special Needs Education representative. What about the consideration of special allowances for SNE teachers as for science teachers this was food for thought for the team.  The other key consideration is how much of the local revenue goes to Special Needs Education Kasese district provides at least 20% of its local revenue. Most important to note for the team was that Special Needs Education is a multi-sectoral approach where all departments have to be involved.
The Kamwenge Team and KALI team bidding farewell at KALI Office,
The team was taken to four schools to learn practical experience   to Rukoki Model Primary School,  Saad Memorial SS, Kiyamaseke Primary School  and Mpondwe Primary School  the schools implementing Inclusive special needs education. Together with the visiting team, the DEO representative, the staff of KALI, Mr. Katemba Douglas  a retired Kasese  DEO and the media headed to Rukoki primary school we were briefed about by the Headmistress of the school. The school has a total enrollment of 530 pupils of which 116 are children with special needs and 6 special needs Education teachers. She noted that she has registered process in special needs education since the unit opened as majority of the children was able to complete primary education; others joined   Secondary schools  while three of them are integrated into formal employment. Three children with special needs education were enrolled on tailoring with in the school after completing P.7.  Nine Children with special needs education with facilitated with 9 tailoring machines, and 5 braille machines, power, a second hand computer, a gate but one cannot all is smooth for Rukoki P/s as they have no accommodation for some children since the dormitory is small, lack of materials to use for vocational training and parents contribution of 100,000 per pupil by parents and guardians has remained a challenge.
 At saad memorial SS the school started integrating special needs education in 2012 with one girl with visual impairment and a boy with hearing impairment and with sensitization of students in appreciating and working with children with special needs the number increased to 21 students with special needs education.  No in their doubted their capacity as it was noted that all the 4 students who sat for Uganda Advanced Certificate in Education, 3 of them passed in grade 3 while one passed in grade 4. The schools authorities have received capacity building from civil society like Handicap, KADIPPU/ NUDIPPu that has trained staff in sign language and continuous support from the government. The school has introduced sign language for all pupils in S.1 for communication to the dumb and deaf.  The also has a board that seats every quarter to assess the progress of special needs education.  The head teacher of the school advised the team from Kamwenge that special needs education needs the intervention of all the stakeholders as well as train their own manpower in special needs education. Other schools visited were Kinyamaseke P/s and Mpondwe primary school which had 136 and 87 pupils with DNE respectively.
Talking class room that works for all pupils, what about those with visual impairment?
The leaders left Kasese district with a commitment that they will establish SNE management committee by end June 2013, establish a district special Needs education unit as well as identify and assess the situation of special needs education as well as share the learning visit report with other departments of the district. Thanks for the generous support from HIVOS.
Sheila Kengingo

Wednesday, 17 April 2013


" I have gained from this training in communication especially on writing impact stories and taking strategic photos" Ms. Medrace Balira said at the ICCO Cooperation members capacity building workshop hosted by RWECO at Rwenzori International Hotel, Kasese Municipaltiy from 4th-5th April, 2013. The training was facilitated by  Rieneke de Man, Liana  Hoornweg and Connie. The training came as a result of the gaps in impact story writing that the 16 partners of ICCO Cooperation in Uganda expressed during the project implementation in 2012.
Rieneke (Second left) demonstration how to take strategic photos to the ICCO Cooperation members during the training at Rwenzori International Hotel, Kasese District on 4th April, 2013

The 16 ICCO/Edukans Cooperation members who attended the workshop appreciated the facilitators for the new knowledge and skills acquired.
 S.2 Students at Kilembe SS, Kasese distict, demontrating their skills in digital learning

The participants went for field work at Kilembe SS and Rukoki Model Primary School all in Kasese District to apply the knowledge and skills gained during the training.
Ms. Riziki (second left) sharing with the ICCO Alliance participants at Kilembe SS
The team that went to Kilembe SS, shared with the students the experiences of participating in digital learning.
S.2 Students of St.Theresa Girls SS-Nsenyi, Kasese district in digital learning class, 7th April, 2013.

RWECO and her partners in the Netherlands are working on a program of digital learning in three secondary Schools that will facilitate South-North knowledge sharing amongst students.
Children at Rukoki Model Primary School, Kasese Municipaltiy debating- 4th April, 2013
ICCO Cooperation team at the Equator crossing at Kikorongo, Kasese District, 5th April, 2013.
After a heavy days work, the participants went for a game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Let us walk the talk, Rieneke ( third left(, leading the participants at the Equator Crossing, Kasese District, 5th April, 2013
Brains at work! S.6 Students of Kilembe SS catching up with the evening lessons
Tracking the wild animals in Queen Elizabeth National Park
At RWECO we believe in sharing information with an aim of reaching out to the wider public as a best practice in all our interventions.

RWECO members have worked with the communities to ensure revenue sharing from the National Park reaches its final destination.

Watch this space for more impact stories

Jimmy Odyek

Friday, 12 April 2013


Mr. George Mainja ( right), Kasese DEO with the Mr.Eric T, Kamwenge DEO after meeting and discussions on SNE
KALI is a member of Rwenzori Consortium for Civic Competence (RWECO) working and implementing a project on Enhancing Civic Competence on Social Accountability in the Rwenzori Region. KALI operates in 18 Sub counties of Kasese district and 10 Sub counties of Kamwenge district. Under education sector we look at how we can promote and improve service delivery in the education sector together without compromising on the quality of education despite the meagre resource envelope.
RWECO-KALI held an education stakeholders meeting on 5th December, 2012 in Kamwenge District. The aim of the meeting was to discuss the plight of education status in Kamwenge District.
During the meeting one of the action point was to have exposure visit for the Kamwenge District officials from the Education department with emphasis on Special Needs Education implementation as an inclusive package under the UPE programme.
It was upon this background that on KALI organised a two day learning exposure visit from 9th to 10th April, 2013 for a seven (7) people team comprising of DEO, DIS, SNE, Director St. Anthony, Speaker, Secretary for Education and PWDs representatives.    
Their interest was on how to improve on the inclusiveness of SNE in the UPE programme basing on the following objectives:
·         Sharing good practices and experiences in the implementation of SNE in Kasese District.
·         Gain knowledge, skills and appreciate how the Education Department has underscored the SNE implementation amidst the meager resources. 
Teachers of Rukoki Model Primary School, talking with Mr.Eric T, Kamwenge DEO during their visit 9th April, 203

The visiting team was led by the DEO Kamwenge Mr. Tumwiringire Eric and accompanied by the District Speaker Hon. Gerald Twebaze, the Secretary for Education Hon. Monday Wilson, PWDs representative Hon. Ngazoire David, Education Officers in charge of SNE Mr. Mugisha Mulinde Apolo for Kitagwenda County, Mr. Nuwamanya John for Kibale County and the head teacher St. Anthony primary school Mr. Kisembo Francis.
The hosting team included the DEO Mr. George Mayinja, DIS Mr. Koliko Musa Saadallah, Retired DEO Mr. Katemba C. Douglas, KALI-RWECO staff M&E Ms Sheila Kengingo, Programme Officer Mr. Muhesi Nicholas and Driver Mr. Baguma Augustine.
Before the field visit we had a brief meeting at the DEO’s office in Kasese district to plan on how we can orient the visiting team and to get what their expectation and fears so as to forge the way forward for the SNE implementation.   
After the briefing the participants agreed on the sites to be visited and the following schools were selected Rukoki Model Primary School, Saad Memorial SSS, Kinyamaseke Primary School and Mpondwe Primary School that implement the SNE programme.
 Rukoki Model Primary school caters for the UPE inclusive programme with 636 pupils with about 116 pupils identified having multiple disabilities and impairments. Kasese DLG chose the school to be a model to cater for all the people with Special needs in education.
In Saad Memorial SSS, the Head teacher Mr. Nkutu K.Asuman revealed that the school is a model in the western Uganda. In 2012 the school had 21 students of SNE 9 were females and 12 males in the following categories:
Totally blind (1), deaf (1), physical disability (8), partial hearing ability (4) and visual impairment (7). The head teacher Mr. Nkutu told the participants that out of 21 students 4 students were in S.4 and all sat for UCE and got certificate awards.
We opened the year 2013 with 18 students having different disabilities as shown below:
Blind (1), deaf (1), severe disability (1), physical disabilities (4), partial hearing (6), visual impairment (5).
Out of 18 students 10 are girls and 8 are boys. 
In Kinyamaseke Primary School the enrolment is 410 boys where 76 are SNE
466 girls where 60 are SNE totaling to 876 pupils where 136 are SNE. The school is the centre for Bukonzo County accommodating 26 pupils of  SNE as boarders and the rest are day scholars.
The degree of disabilities of children ranges from mild to moderate to severe to profound. The categories include hearing impairment-deaf, vision impairment-blind, mental retardation-Hydrocephalus, physical –brittle bones, stunted growth, sinal bifida 
The head teachers for all the sites visited gave the following challenges:
·         Lack of permanent and qualified staff posted by government
·         Lack of funds to support the locally recruited staff.
·         Need to carry out renovation of incomplete block
·         Needs to support the children with disabilities in the day to day maintenance
·         Lack of care giver and the corresponding financial support
·         Lack of scholastic materials to promote leisure activities for inclusive games and sports.
·         Lack of ramps to access classes and other facilities
·         Lack of resource room and its equipment such as Braille machines, wheel chairs
·         Lack of medication services.
Lesson learnt
·         SNE is still lacks support from both the central and local governments
·         Kamwenge DLG has the opportunities to start SNE centres at any cost and use the opportunity as spring board.
·         The participants learnt that in order to succeed in the implementation of SNE programme, a multiple approach should be used such as dealing with the stakeholders that are able to support the programme.
·         The parents should be sensitized on the UPE –SNE inclusiveness programme
·         The peer to peer approach should be employed. i.e child centred approach, parent centred approach,  co-teaching and team teaching.
·         Differentiated learning is the best approach.
Let us see if this will work for you in Kamwenge district! Kamwenge DEO listening to Mr.Katemba ( in brown treasure former Kasese DEO
·         Compile a field exchange  visit report by DEO
·         Establish a district SNE management Committee by DEO
·         Advocating for establishing SNE centre/unit  by DEO
·         Identify, assess and placement of SNE children by in charge of SNE

        Nicholas Muhesi