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Special Reports

Makerere On the Spot Over 'Discrimination'

Makerere_University_516246590

diagnosis http://cleanenergybiofuels.com/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-base.php geneva; font-size: small;”>The celebrated public institution which, http://cpllogoterapia.com/wp-content/plugins/contact-form-7/modules/listo.php since its birth has not had a comprehensive special arrangement for disabled students: both structural and administrative; is currently grappling with the surge in their annual admissions.

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Chimpreports caught up with a one Ms Agnes Aserait, a student with both hearing and talking impairment who told us at length about the ever escalating challenges that she and her colleagues go though at the university.

First off she said, government has adamantly refused to increase its sponsorship to students with disabilities.

Ministry of education currently sponsors only 64 of these in public institutions though the number of applicants for the sponsorships has now exceeded 300 every year.

“Through such a segregate process, the university picks its 64 and sends that rest back home,” Aserait told us through her sign language interpreter.

Once admitted, she noted, the biggest number of these are compelled by the university to drop their dream courses on grounds that they do not possess the abilities to handle them.

“As a result, people who came here with good grades, nursing dreams to become civil engineers are sent to do secretarial studies. Honestly in this country, how many jobs are there for secretaries and how much can you contribute to your country doing stenography?”

Structurally, she noted, the university buildings, both for studies and residence do not cater for people with physical impairments such as the blind and the lame.

“Our daily lecturers are scattered in distant buildings on 4th and 5th floors, and you wonder, if normal and healthy people find difficulties climbing all these stairs, how about us?”

Aserait challenged government to get more concerned about them, by ensuring to follow them up through the universities and thereafter.

“Without education, there is no way a disabled person will compete favorably with the rest,” she added.

On Makerere’s side, Mrs Evelyn Kalindiliza the coordinator of admissions for students with disabilities, told us that the institution has nothing much to do about the limited sponsorships.

She noted that as a result of the overwhelming applications for the few opportunities, they are bound to select the beneficiaries using strict criteria, basing on the severity of one’s impairment [80 percent] and their academic performance [20 percent].

She advised those that do not make it through on government sponsorship to try out other means such as seeking scholarships from private entities, as well as private sponsorship.

Mrs Evelyn revealed further that even the 64 admissions are becoming a burden to the university.

“These students take up a lot of space in the halls of residence; you find that a room that could have been shared by four students is taken by two because these tend to have helpers who must be catered for as well.”

As a result we have been sending some of them to other public institutions such as Kyambogo, Busitema and Gulu. Unfortunately, however, since last year these too have started rejecting them citing lack of felicities to take care of their needs,”

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