What you need to know:
- According to the executive director of UNAD, Mr Robert Nkwangu, they are concerned by the continued poor performance of deaf pupils and the increasing school dropout rate by children with hearing impairments.
The deaf community in Uganda is alarmed by the continued poor performance of deaf pupils in the Primary Leaving Exams. While speaking at a press conference Monday, the members of the Uganda National Association of the Deaf (UNAD) decried the continuous failure of children with hearing impairments.
According to the executive director of UNAD, Mr Robert Nkwangu, they are concerned by the continued poor performance of deaf pupils and the increasing school dropout rate by children with hearing impairments.
“The educational needs of deaf people are not prioritized when allocating resources and it is becoming increasingly clear that deaf education is a privilege for the lucky few and those who manage to complete primary level have underperformed academically,” he said.
In the recently released results, a total of 2,257 pupils with disability sat for the exams and those with hearing impairments performed so poorly. Out of the 263 pupils with hearing impairments, no one got division one. Only 50 pupils were in division 2, 41 in division 3, 56 in division 4, and 116 pupils were ungraded.
In comparison to other pupils with disabilities, 80 of the 461 partially blind learners got a first grade, 209 in the second division, 71 in third, 59 in fourth and only 42 were ungraded.
Ms Esther Nagudi, the principal education officer in charge of special needs education at the Ministry of Education attributed the poor performance to late enrollment and that the learners have a challenge comprehending the language used in the classroom.
“There is a general lack of learning material in accessible formats for deaf children. During the lockdown, there was learning material on televisions and radios but the deaf students were left out. The radio was not an alternative for them. We speak and understand visually.”
According to Twalib Ayub Ali, a board member of the Uganda National Association of the Deaf (UNAD) representing the youth, there is a need to implement policies that benefit deaf people in order to improve their education.
“Most of the laws are on paper and there is no implementation. There is a gap in the policies. The government has a programme but it is not impacting us. The Ministry of Education and the partners need to consult UNAD and the deaf community on how to improve the curriculum and the plight of deaf education,” he says.