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