The right to education of minority groups: A case study of Batwa in Muko Sub–Country, Kabale District
Kahima, John Rebman
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This study examined the education of minorities in Uganda paying particular attention to Batwa in Muko sub-county in Kabale district. The general objective of the study was to highlight the violation of the Batwa’s right to education as a minority group. It came up with four specific objectives as follows; to identify and assess the human rights instruments relevant to the right to education, to undertake a situation analysis of Batwa’s education, to establish challenges of implementing the right to education among the Batwa and to suggest effective measures that can be put in place to enable the Batwa realize their right to education. The study was conducted in Muko Sub County and involved 80 respondents who included; Batwa, the dominant group (Bakiga, Banyankole and Bafumbira), teachers, NGO staff and Local government officials. Data was collected using; interview guides, questionnaires, focus group discussions and observation. The thesis is divided into chapters. Chapter one includes the introduction to the study, the background, the statement of the problem and the scope of the study. It also includes the definition of key terms, the objectives of the study, the hypotheses, the justification of the study, the conceptual framework, and the significance of the study. Chapter two focuses on literature review. Chapter three looks at the methodology used in the study. Chapter four presents and discusses the findings on the situation of Batwa’s education and the challenges the Batwa face in accessing education. Chapter five presents and discusses the findings on the possible measurers to address Batwa challenges in accessing education. Chapter six discusses the education legal frame work in relation to Batwa and the obligations of stakeholders. Chapter seven makes a general conclusion of the study and gives recommendations. After analyzing the data, the result pointed out that the right to education among the Batwa is highly violated and that they are highly illiterate. Although marginalization and poverty came out as the main factors hindering their access to education, lack of government concern and willingness to address the plight of Batwa backed by lack of recognition of minority groups in the Ugandan constitution surfaces as the crowning challenge to the Batwa’s access and enjoyment of the right to education. The UPE program by government that saw the relief of parents/ guardians from paying school fees for their children does not have special considerations for the marginalized, despised and poorest of the poor and thus does not work for the Batwa who in this case fall in that category. The study recommended the formulation of a National Minorities’ policy that will focus on their education. That it should however have a backing by recognition of the existence of minorities in the Ugandan constitution. An alternative educational program for the minorities needs to be put in place as an immediate intervention as well as sensitization of the communities in which the Batwa live so as to put an end to their marginalization. Compensation of Batwa for the loss of their land and an affirmative action in schools aimed at facilitating Batwa with school requirements were also recommended.