Blantyre, Federation of Disability Organizations in Malawi (FEDOMA) has expressed satisfaction with the increase in the number of students with special needs who have been selected to public universities.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) Sunday in Blantyre, FEDOMA Head of Programmes, Simon Munde said the organization was pleased with the increase in the number of students with special needs admitted to pursue various generic and mature entry programmes in University of Malawi (UNIMA).
This year, UNIMA has considered 53 applications for special needs for admission in 2019/2020 academic as compared to last year’s only nine that were admitted.
Although the number is still small, we hope to see some positive change, in future we would like to see more students with special needs pursuing tertiary education. Government must make sure that all special needs students are placed on bursary programmes, Munde said.
The Head of Programmes added that there is more to be done to protect the rights of special needs students, saying, We should view it from secondary level to ensure that all resources required for special needs are available, all secondary schools must have good and conducive environment.
He challenged that students with special needs could do just like anyone else, noting that in 2018 out of 653 special needs candidates, 368 candidates qualified for the award of Malawi Schools Certificate of Education, representing 56.36 per cent pass rate.
Last year, out of a total of 2, 361 candidates who were selected to pursue various programmes with UNIMA, there were also nine special needs candidates who joined various programmes, Munde said.
A statement released by UNIMA on their website, indicates that all candidates with special needs; need to be examined by medical practitioners at the College of Medicine and Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) who provide certification as to whether or not their conditions warrant special consideration.
The statement continues to say in 2019/2020 academic year, there were 24, 745 applications which were received by NCHE to be considered for selection by all public universities from 124, 745 candidates who qualified for the award of the certificate in 2018 and other group for past three years.
Source: MANA Online