It appears that there is no stone NUSAF has left unturned,
because in Moroto NUSAF has supported education for children
with special needs. The Weekly Observer talked to Moroto
District’s Inspector of Schools, George William Igune,
who is also in-charge of special needs education in the
When did the Project start and why?
It started in 2005 because we have varying special needs
for education in the district. Take for example: visual
impairment, hearing impairment, motor impairment, and the
| George William Igune the Inspector
of schools and also incharge of special needs education,
Impairments, such as blindness or partial blindness are
common in Karamoja because children who have suffered from
measles become blind and others commonly suffer from trachoma.
What makes it even worse are some cultural practices, where
a blind or partially blind child is put in a hut burning
with herbs. It has been found that this smoke makes the
partially blind, [completely] blind.
How much did the Project cost?
In total it cost Shs. 11 million, but we have used
Shs. 4.5 million for buying equipment, which we distributed
to the beneficiaries. We gave them Perkins Brailler material
for the visually impaired and Braille paper. And we have
contacted someone in Norway for Braille balls, which have
bells in them, so the children will use their ears when
playing with these balls. We also hope to collaborate with
Uganda National Association for the Blind for equipment.
How many schools have you distributed to?
So far only one school has been catered for-Kangole Girls
Primary School because the equipment is very expensive.
A Perkins Brailler [Type writer for the blind] cost Shs.
1.57 million at the time but I hear it is now approaching
Shs. 2 million. We bought 3 Perkins Braillers for the school
because it has 14 visually impaired children. We also bought
a rim of brail sheets at a cost of Shs. 90 to 100, 000.
Are they using the equipment?
Yes they are. Some of them even sat Primary Leaving Examinations
last year but UNEB is [only] now going to give the results,
because it takes time to transcribe brail into print. Then
the markers can go on and mark.
Have the Perkins Braillers helped children learn
When using a Perkins Brailler, a child learns faster and
can now finish exams in the allotted time. They are ordinarily
given 30 extra minutes to finish exams. With the Perkins
Brailler a child can type letters onto brail paper very
What problems have you faced?
The main problem has been repairing equipment because we
do not have specialized people to repair them. I want to
ask Uganda National Association for the Blind to train upcountry
people on how to repair the equipment.
We also need more equipment such as magnifying glasses
for the partially impaired, frame tailor [used in Mathematics],
wheel chairs, hearing aids, abacus [which is a calculator
for the blind], among others. There is also a shortage of
personnel that are trained in special needs.
Another cropping problem is that with UPE, parents send
children with special needs to study with the rest, yet
there is no provision for special needs in UPE schools.
UPE does not aptly cater for special needs.
If NUSAF had not come how different would the situation
It would have been terrible because equipment is so expensive.
But now with NUSAF, at least children in Kangole Girls Primary
School share Perkins Braillers in the ratio of 2 to1. Although
in the ideal situation, it should be each child with a Perkins