Chembe Member of Parliament Cliff Mpundu is saddened by the lack of adequate infrastructure for special education in the district.
Mr. Mpundu observed that with the government’s policy on inclusive education through the integration of children whose learning disabilities are mild and moderate into ordinary schools, it will be difficult to be inclusive if infrastructure is inadequate.
“These children have different needs and each need should have its own class so that the children can learn well and receive the much needed attention but with inadequate infrastructure it will be difficult,” he explained.
Speaking at Chembe Primary School Special Unit where he visited and interacted with children with special needs, Mr. Mpundu also bemoaned the inadequate number of special education teachers in the district.
Mr Mpundu disclosed that the district only has eight special education teachers against 190 pupils who need special care and that of the eight four teachers hold administrative positions.
“There is a need to recruit more teachers in this sector so that children receive quality education just like the other ordinary pupils,” he recommended.
And Acting Chembe District Education Standard Officer Joshua Manda explained that the entire district only has one established special education unit at Chembe Primary School with 15 out of 190 pupils while the rest of the children are in various schools dotted around the district.
“This special education unit here at Chembe Primary School has a number of needs such as mattresses, and toys for the children because they cannot learn for long hours and some of them who have cerebral palsy need to lie down most of the time,” Mr. Manda explained.
He further explained that there is a need for the establishment of special education units in other schools where there are children with special needs.
Mr Mpundu also donated some exercise books, sporting equipment to selected schools and a wheelchair to 20-year-old Juliet Chama, a physically challenged girl of Kasoma Lwela.