Kagadi district officials want the government to enhance funds for Special Needs Education in the Ministry of Education and Sports to meet the requirements for the programme.
Mr Bartholomew Bukenya, the District Education Officer (DEO), says the central government remits only Shs8m every financial year for the programme leaving gaps to the demands.
He says the district has more than 250 learners with special needs at Bishop Rwakaikara primary school in Kagadi town but they do not have the necessary resources to see them through the needs since government sends there only Shs2.5m per term.
“Shs2.5m allocated to the school to cater for pupils with special needs per term is too little for the school to operate at. For that case, government needs to increase on the funds they give such schools because pupils with special needs need much care compared to normal learners,” Mr Bukenya notes.
The DEO says at one time, the school used to depend on locally raised revenue to finance the activities of special needs but with the creation of new administrative units like town councils in the district, there is nothing more of the kind.
The Kagadi Town Council Chairman, Mr Geoffrey Busiinge, urges partners in development to support special needs education saying it has for long been neglected.
“Children with special needs have been neglected in terms of education. The government needs to double efforts so that children with special needs meet an equal education system like other pupils in Uganda,” he says.
Reverend Francis Mugisa, the Head Teacher Bishop Rwakaikara primary school, reveals that although the centre has a big number of learners with special needs, it does not have the required resources.
This was after Flobbeto nursery and primary school Hoima donated the centre with food items like rice and maize flour and also solar panels, DSTV, beds, litter bins, pens, pencils, books and sanitary pads worth Shs15m over the weekend.
Mr Dominic Karyarugoku, the Head Teacher Flobbeto nursery and primary school, says the donation follows a needs assessment conducted at Bishop Rwakaikara primary school in which it was discovered that the centre lacked several items.
He says the concern coerced school to mobilise resources to help them procure the items.
“It is good for such schools because people with special needs also deserve equal rights like any other pupils in the country in terms of academics. So, more support should be given to them as a way of encouraging them,” he says.