Original Research

Implementation of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in public and private schools in three districts of Uganda

Elijah Musenyente, Marie L. Han, Michel Knigge
African Journal of Disability | Vol 11 | a908 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v11i0.908 | © 2022 Elijah Musenyente, Marie L. Han, Michel Knigge | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 June 2021 | Published: 27 October 2022

About the author(s)

Elijah Musenyente, Department of Community and Disability Studies, Faculty of Special Needs and Rehabilitation, Kyambogo University, Kampala, Uganda
Marie L. Han, Department of Pedagogy, Faculty of Human Sciences, University of Potsdam, Germany
Michel Knigge, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany


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Abstract

Background: The study was grounded in the recent developments of implementing the United Nations Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in schools in Uganda, leading to a renewed interest in the questionings about inclusive education.

Objectives: The inclusive approach was evaluated in terms of: (1) how public or private schools in Uganda understand inclusive education; (2) how schools implement inclusive education under the influence of the UN Convention; and (3) what determines the course of action and school routine of private and state schools.

Methods: This exploratory qualitative research included interviews with six schools purposively selected in Mukono, Wakiso and Kampala districts of Central Uganda. The selected schools comprised three private and three state schools (i.e. representing primary and secondary schools and a vocational training institute).

Results: The research demonstrated that ‘inclusive education practice’ that was upheld by all the schools, was ironically stained with exclusion, for example, by non-admission of students with visual and hearing impairment, inaccessible physical environment, inadequate funding and separation of students according to abilities. However, whilst all schools followed the regular curriculum, some schools developed their own ways of teaching learners with diverse learning needs.

Conclusion: Some schools in Uganda have developed meaningful approaches of including students with disabilities but there are still many challenges for many. Enforcing Uganda’s disability policies adapted from the CRPDs could enable learners with disabilities to enjoy their legal rights.

Contribution: Since the intention of inclusion of students with disabilities stands in contrast to the reality of practice found in many schools, there seems to be a need to carry out regular assessments and measures of support for a sustainable inclusive school development.


Keywords

people with disabilities; UN Convention; inclusive education; disability rights; Uganda.

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