Saturday, September 10, 2011
Although all children have a right to be educated, this right was not easy to be implemented earlier. Children with disability were not being catered for or neither being considered as worthy educable. Uganda like all developing countries saw the need to develop the activities of Special Education to meet the needs of children with disabilities. In the beginning, the provision of Special Education was purely in the hands of the Non Government Organization (NGO) who were mainly missionaries and some relatives who needed to educate their children or relatives. The development of services for persons with disabilities was either hindered or accelerated by the perception and conceptions a community had concerning the target group.
Uganda Government did not posses any legislation as regards the education of persons with disability before 1980. People with disabilities were taken as sick, possessed or cast. This tremendously affected the delivery of educational services to them. The Ministry Of Education then established a sector of Special Education within its structure in 1983.
The section was run by one person and was under funded. Most of the activities conducted at that time still depended on the NGO.
In 1990, came the Jomitien Agreement. In here, the World leaders pledged to ensure the right to education for all regardless of individual differences. The World declaration on Education for All, Artile1: 1 states that ‘every person, child, youth and adult shall be able to benefit from educational opportunities designed too meet their basic learning needs’.
Uganda is a signatory to this agreement. This influenced the educational provision for children with special needs in Uganda and meant that even children with special needs were to benefit or be catered for under the educational provision in the country.