Innovative Practices 2016 on Education and ICT
Creating mainstream schools in a war-torn country
“It is not war, neither is it foreign or national soldiers who will change the education system in Afghanistan, but the change of attitude towards children and persons with disabilities.”
|Name of Innovative Practice:||Creating mainstream schools in a war-torn country|
|Organisation:||Swedish Committee for Afghanistan|
Afghanistan has been in war for over 30 years and still counting. Political instability, insurgency, corruption, and lack of sustainable education policies are some of the main barriers to the development of Inclusive Education. In response, the project engages with the government to advocate for Inclusive Education, targeting vulnerable children, children with disabilities, and girls. One of these engagements was to assist the government to develop an Inclusive Education Policy, which came into force in December 2014. Earlier, the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan created special education programmes focused on the early identification of children with disabilities and early intervention through home-based education. Following their home-based education, the children were transferred to a Community Rehabilitation Development Centre, where they were introduced to formal literacy and numeracy for two to three years before transitioning to a mainstream school.
SOLUTION & METHODOLOGY
In order to provide Inclusive Education, the project offers support through early intervention training and the creation of an accessible learning environment. Community-based rehabilitation workers, special education teachers, physiotherapists, parents, and local leaders foster the students so they can ultimately attend mainstream schools. Materials developed include Braille books and writing implements, basic sign language books, woodblocks, textbooks, writing materials, and games, among others. The programme also arranges training schedules for teachers when school is in recess. Training includes how to set up an inclusive classroom, the preparation of inclusive lesson plans, and the recognition of children’s learning diversities.
OUTLOOK & TRANSFERABILITY
The forecast for 2015 is to provide support to 12 community-based schools, where 12 resource centres have been earmarked for construction. The resource centres will act as the material development centre for community-based teachers; as training centres for teachers and parents; as assessment centres for children with disabilities; and as hubs for assisting community-based schools. Six new schools with six classrooms each will be constructed. In addition, the training of trainers is a major focus to boost the quality of teaching. In 2016 adult literacy for parents, a learning programme for out–of–school children, and early childhood education are under consideration.