Ogwang says he was studying from an inclusive school from Lango College in Lira District where he scored 12 points from PCM/ICT (Physic, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Computer). For a deaf student, this would have been enough for him to secure a government scholarship.
Alex Ongwag, 23, a student with a hearing impairment, dropped out university in 2017, but he is yet to give up on dream. He has Given UACE a Second Shot so as to secure a government scholarship
Alex Ogwang is one of the candidates sitting the ongoing Uganda
Advanced Certification Education-UACE exams at Wakiso Secondary School for the
deaf. Ogwang’s mission is to score highly and secure a government scholarship to
He dropped out of Kyambogo University in 2017 where he was
pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering because his parents couldn’t
afford the tuition. On Tuesday this week, Ogwang stood firmly in the laboratory
mixing several chemicals in a-four-hour practical chemistry paper to fight for
Ogwang says he was
studying from an inclusive school from Lango College in Lira District where he
scored 12 points from PCM/ICT (Physic, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Computer). For
a deaf student, this would have been enough for him to secure a government scholarship.
Unfortunately by the
time of filling the Public University Joint Admission Board-PUJAB forms he hadn’t
secured an audiogram, which could prove that he was deaf. “I had never heard of such requirement by the way. I even never knew that there
are schools for deaf people. I had to fill the form just like any other person,”
Ogwang signed as Stella Nantongo interpreted.
option was to apply for a loan from the student’s loan scheme but he still wasn’t
lucky enough. This forced his parents to
sell part of their land and some properties to ensure that he goes to the
“I never stopped to
look for scholarships. I moved to different NGOs supporting persons with
disabilities all in vain. After completing my first year at Kyambogo University,
my parents could no longer sustain me at school,” he signed with tears rolling
down his cheeks.
As he was planning to give up, he was informed that the Madhvani Foundation had
granted him a scholarship. However, his performance had declined as he had
spent lots of effort looking for support at the expense of academics. The scholarship
was canceled because of failure to meet the academics requirements when he got
Ogwanga hit a dead end
and dropped out of university in 2017. However, while interacting with an
official from the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU), he
learnt that there were government scholarships reserved for the deaf.
In 2018, he decided to repeat senior six so that he attains the scholarships reserved
for the deaf. Wakiso School of deaf welcomed him with open hands at the
beginning of this year and allowed him to enroll without paying a penny.
Ogwang is the only
student out of the eight students writing their examination at the center offering
science subjects. “It has not been an easy task, I had to remember things I had
studied some years ago,” he said through the interpreter.
He noted that he
studied from inclusive schools in his earlier education where he mastered lip
reading but had to learn sign language this because it is the mode of
communication at the school. Ogwang is optimistic that he will perform well and get back to campus to take
any engineering course the university will be willing to give him.
He says despite
his impairment, he can make an impact on society.