18 January 2019

Uganda: 92 Special Needs Pupils to Join Secondary School

Kampala — At least 92 pupils with special needs have scored aggregate 32 (fourth grade) and are eligible to join Senior One.

Primary Leaving Examination (PLE) results released by the Uganda National Examination Board (Uneb) yesterday show that at least 1,128 blind, deaf or physically disabled pupils sat for their examinations last year.

Of the 92 pupils, two pupils passed in grade one, 51 pupils in second grade, 14 pupils passed in third grade and 23 passed in fourth grade.

Special needs students, who score up to fourth grade, qualify to join a special needs school of their choice.

Mauricia Nakiyimbwa from Kakunyu P.7 School in Kyotera District and Labeja Giacomo Rooney from Glory Special Needs Primary School in Kitgum beat other pupils with special needs with aggregate 12.

However, it was not clear whether these two students were both special needs pupils since the two schools are inclusive.

Glory Special Needs School in Kitgum Municipal Council, a school for pupils with physical disabilities beat other special needs school after posting 18 second grades.

It was followed by Nancy School for the deaf in Lira Municipal Council with 13 second grades and Kakunyu P.7 School in Kyotera District posting nine second grades. Salama school for the Deaf in Mukono scored four second grades.

Failures

Seventy special needs pupils failed. Most of those who failed are pupils with visual impairments from Uganda School for the Deaf Ntinda (nine), Mulago School for the deaf (15), Ngora School for the Deaf (eight) and Nancy school for the deaf (15). Two pupils registered but did not sit for PLE.

Rev Sr Mary Kevin Nasirumbi, the former headmistress of St Francis Primary School in Soroti District, attributed the poor performance of most pupils to learning difficulties. "Some of the pupils have more than one disability, but there those who are good at mathematics especially those with visual impairments if they do not have any other disability," she said.

The headmistress expresses concern that pupils with special needs continue to sit the same examinations like pupils without disabilities.

"We have raised this issue with the Ministry of Education but nothing has been done," Sr Nasirumbi said, preferring that pupils with special needs are examined based on their capabilities.

Ms Christine Kiganda, who works with the Julia Lule foundation, an organisation that works with the education of deaf children, said the poor performance of special needs pupils is of great concern.

"Poor performance of pupils with special needs is of great concern, it stems from the nature of examinations the students take. The pupils use sign language which is not grammatical, yet they are required to answer questions that require grammatical correctness," Ms Kiganda said, adding that a movement is coming to address this anomaly with Uneb.

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