Autism awareness.(file photo).
By Syriacus Buguzi
Dodoma — The government on Wednesday admitted a critical shortage of specialised teachers for children living with autism, a disorder that affects a child’s development and social skills.
The Deputy Minister of State in the President’s Office(Local Government and Regional Administration), Mr Joseph Kakunda said in parliament that there are 1,416 children with autism in the country but with only 157 teachers in 18 primary schools.
“These are few teachers. They don’t suffice,” he said Mr Kakunda during the question and answer session in the 11th National Assembly in Dodoma.
He was responding to a question raised by special seats Member of Parliament, Salma Kikwete(CCM), who sought to know if the government has set strategies to groom enough teachers affected by autism.
Responding, the deputy minister said there are teachers who have been trained to handle autistic children at Patandi College in Arusha but they have not been distributed to schools with special needs.
He then directed all municipalities across the country to distribute such teachers to schools with special needs, including those with autism by December this year.
According to standards by global health agencies, he said, 1 teacher is needed for five autistic children but this standard is not followed in Tanzania because of the Shortage of such teachers.
“The government will put more effort and Investment in grooming teaches for schools with special needs,” he said.
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