According to the teachers, with the absence of reliable home-based study materials for learners with special needs especially those who study in the sign-language model, many of them have been demotivated and there is a likelihood that a big number may not return to school.
Teachers of special needs children are uncertain of retaining
their learners when schools reopen.
According to the teachers, with the absence of reliable home-based
study materials for learners with special needs especially those who study in the
sign-language model, many of them have been demotivated and there is a
likelihood that a big number may not return to school.
Olivia Namugabo, a teacher at Masaka School for the Deaf-Ndegeya,
says their learners have completely been detached away from any learning
process since the lockdown was declared, and as a result, many are have been exposed
to abuses while others have lost morale in education.
She explains the deaf learners have never been covered under the
government’s home-schooling programs ever since they were sent back home
because the available home-study materials do not cater to their needs.
According to Namugabo, their learners require sign language
interpreters in all their learning environments a provision government did not
cater for. She argues that its better government reopens schools for children
with special needs to provide for a safe environment as well as supporting
their continuity in learning.
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Namugabo is afraid that the long closure of schools has also
retarded the learning momentum of children with special needs, which is going
to leave long-lasting consequences in their teaching process if the government
doesn’t take an immediate remedy to save the situation.
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Anne Florence Nakabuye, the Deputy Headteacher at Misanvu School for
Children with Special Needs in Bukomansimbi district, argues that because their
schools are purely boarding, they can easily reduce the risk of internal
spreading of Covid-19, calling upon the government to find justification for
their immediate reopening.
She says that unlike, ordinary learners, children with special
needs have limited options of finding livelihoods without formal education,
challenging the government to pay extra attention to their challenges by
closing a loophole that can lead them to drop out of school.
Richard Musisi, an Executive Officer and Instructor at Masaka
Association of Persons Living with HIV/AIDs-MADIPHA indicate that they also
noted that the long-staying of children at home is exposing them to risks of
contracting the virus.
Denis Mugimba, the Ministry of Education Spokesperson indicates that they are
mindful of the challenges that children are going through, however indicating
that keeping them at home was inevitable giving the grave health risk of Covid-19.
He adds that the Ministry’s technical teams are tirelessly working out interventions
that will cater for all categories of learners.
While addressing the nation about the Covid-19 situation on
Wednesday, President Museveni revealed that National Taskforce resolved to have
schools reopened in January next year after the vaccination of at least of