Innovative Practices 2016 on Education and ICT

Training teachers to keep children with disabilities in school

The Uganda Society for Disabled Children has initiated a project that qualifies teachers and caregivers and improves curricula with the goal of realizing higher completion rates of children with disabilities in primary schools. The specific target group of the project – which will be implemented in Arua, Yumbe, Moyo, and Soroti districts – are 180 boys and girls in upper primary classes in 12 selected schools.

“The training provided by USDC has enabled our teachers to identify more children with learning challenges and other hidden disabilities. I have questioned myself and my teachers why children with hearing impairments are so many, but we have no clear reasons. So the health professionals have to help here.”

Mr. MASSONHead Teacher, Kureku Primary School
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Training teachers to keep children with disabilities in school
Organisation:Uganda Society for Disabled Children (USDC)
Country
of Implementation
Uganda

FACTS & FIGURES

  • 18 teachers (9 female/9 male) were qualified as master trainers in the inclusive child-to-child methodology.
  • 171 teachers (82 female/89 male) completed the refresher training, which was held by the above-mentioned master trainers to improve teacher knowledge and skills concerning different disabilities and the ability to include children with various learning needs into their teaching process.
  • The teacher training has contributed to a 72.7% increase in the enrolment of children with disabilities across the project Schools.

PROBLEMS TARGETED

One of the problems facing the inclusion of children with disabilities in school is that the methods and modes that are used to qualify teachers and that the teachers use in the classroom are inadequate. Another is that the total school enrolment rate of children with disabilities in Uganda is very low – between 5% and 10% – compared to approximately 90% of children without disabilities. About 9% of children with disabilities attend primary school and only 6% complete it and continue to secondary school.

SOLUTION & METHODOLOGY

A first steps towards achieving higher completion rates of children with disabilities is to improve the skills of teachers and to lobby for Inclusive Education. Teachers who are employed in public schools need to be trained to use a child-to-child methodology. Teachers who are qualified through this project do not assume that children with disabilities have only limited knowledge, and instead the training gives them the skills to enable learners to discover many things by themselves, rather than just transferring knowledge. Furthermore, USDC aggressively advocates for Inclusive Education, seeking partnerships with likeminded organizations and raising funds to promote an inclusive agenda. As a result, the teacher-training curriculum at Kyambogo University was reviewed and revised to increase the knowledge of trainees so as to enable them to support children with disabilities in a better way.

OUTLOOK & TRANSFERABILITY

In the rest of 2015 and in 2016 the project staff will work to increase the implementation of their child-to-child methodology and use the positive results for their lobbying activities. These activities will also be increased and will centre on promoting policies that reinforce the use of ICT for Inclusive Education.

CONTACT

Ms. Dolorence Naswa Were
Uganda Society for Disabled Children
Uganda
+256 701 557 290
dolorence.were@usdc.or.ug
www.usdc.or.ug

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