The Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of Uganda (SHAU) has appealed to school owners to open up their spaces to accommodate children with Disabilities by promoting inclusiveness education.
The call was made by SHAU Kampala Project Coordinator, Harriet Nambejja during an experience sharing engagement by Inclusion School Teams from identified schools in Kampala gathered at St. James Primary School in Mutungo Biina.
School inclusion teams were initiated by SHAU in 2019 with the aim of advocating for school environments that favour children with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. The teams involve parents, teachers and children.
Nambejja noted that some schools have continued to send away children with disabilities referring them Special needs schools.
“Research has shown that children with disabilities who are allowed in school with other children develop faster and grow quickly since they learn a number of practices from their peers. Those children in special needs schools end up retarding. Only children in worst conditions should be put in Special Needs Schools,” Nambejja said.
Stephen Kazibwe, the PTA Chairperson at Mpererwe Church of Uganda Primary School applauded SHAU for coming up with the program of inclusive education in schools and communities.
Kazibwe said that the inclusive education project has awaken the public about the potential of the children with disabilities, changed mindset towards such children and most importantly imparting the skill of handling them with love and care.
Ruth Kwagala a parent with a 10-year-old child with Down syndrome and a resident of Kirinya, Bweyogerere in Kito village applauded SHAU for guiding and teaching her how to handle her child and other people with disabilities.
She says its lesson on humility, being kind, understanding the child and being considerate to her child has immensely helped her raise her child well.
According to the report from the Inclusive teams, there has been a registered increase in enrollment of children with disabilities in schools.
“Before the engagements, a number of parents would hide their children with disabilities and would not take them to school but after several engagements, many have now enrolled in different inclusive schools,” Nambejja said.