- The project is being run in 20 government aided schools in Gulu and Amuru districts in Northern Uganda.
According to Peter Ouma, project manager TOGETHER FOR INCLUSION project, the project aims to ensure that the rights for persons with disabilities are fulfilled in Uganda with focus on two thematic areas of; Inclusive Education and Human Rights and Advocacy and is being run in 20 government aided schools in Gulu and Amuru districts in Northern Uganda
The operations started in February 2020 and it is a 3 year project closing December 2022.
"After a number of studies showing how the disabled were being marginalized and left out we chose to come up with this to support such children."
Our main aim is to reduce the barriers of enrolment of children with disability; we have created 2 vibrant structures to enable us achieve this, the community mobilization teams and school inclusion teams
We have worked under challenges, during the school closure we have worked with support schools and have renovated infrastructure in 9 schools including classrooms, accessible walkways and rumps for children with physical impairments to have a safe learning environment once schools reopen.
These men and women have been thoroughly trained, they move in the communities sensitizing parents on why they should have their children in schools, identifying children out of school and supporting their education transitions then report back to the project for interventions
Over 250 teachers have been trained on inclusive education approaches.
We are very optimistic that once school reopen children with disabilities will have a safe and conducive learning environment, and we also expect a high enrolment of children with disabilities.
Rubakene Simon coordinator of home based learning also school inclusive coordinator.
"This project has really helped the children with disability.
We as teachers have been able to unlock their potential, it is such a satisfying job to see a child with a disability smile and ably compete with others in class.
Despite the challenges such as long distance we are happy to be doing this, we have sensitized communities on the importance of sending children with disability to school and we are sure many will jon once schools open, he adds.
We teach 3 days a week and after every 2 weeks we meet and summarize our report which we submit to our coordinator Winifred Abalo"
Winfred Abalo the project coordinator says after two weeks the teachers do avail them with a home learning report which informs them on the progress.
"Once they get the reports they are able to know the number of children which SEND reached as per disability category and sex digression
The report also helps track progress on the children content coverage and delivery as well as Identify support needs for children.
Our teachers are doing a good job and we do support them with lunch facilitation while conducting the sessions in the community
"We also avail them with self-study materials and home learning parks to support their sessions"
Joyce Lanyero, the Amuru district education Officer in Northern Uganda
The district has for the past two years registered tremendous achievement in prioritizing inclusive education in efforts to give pupils with different forms of disabilities more opportunities to go to school.
According to her, with the introduction of Together for Inclusion-TOFI project in Amuru District, in terms of staffing over 60 teachers in the district have taken into special needs education.
‘’ This means for the 51 schools in Amuru, at least each one has a teacher for special needs to support inclusive education and we are saying, we need an inclusive education for our learners ’’. She said.
As Amuru district with support from Save the Children in the last financial year we have managed to establish a block of two classrooms named a special needs annex at Pablo primary school. Lanyero added.