Innovative Practice 2020 on Inclusive Education and ICT

Supporting school enrolment of girls with disabilities

In 2017, Special Talent Exchange Programme (STEP), a disabled persons’ organization (DPO) based in Islamabad, launched a project to promote the enrolment of children with disabilities in mainstream schools, with a focus on girls. The programme, which runs in the Charsadda and Nowshera districts of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, encourages families to send their children to school, while also offering assistive devices. STEP has been supporting 220 girls with disabilities in school and has trained 90 teachers.

“The project also enabled the provision of assistive devices and accessible environment for children with disabilities in mainstream schools.”

Spokesperson from the KPK Provincial Education Department
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Inclusive Education
Organisation:Special Talent Exchange Programme (STEP)
Country
of Implementation
Pakistan/ Charsadda & Nowshera
Start Year2017

FACTS & FIGURES

  • The one-year programme ran from 2017 to 2018, but the 220 female students have been able to continue their education due to a government stipend.
  • STEP distributed assistive devices to 180 girls with disabilities, including wheelchairs and hearing aids.

PROBLEMS TARGETED

Students with disabilities in Pakistan often do not enrol in mainstream schools due to the lack of an accessible curriculum and trained teachers.

SOLUTION, INNOVATION, AND IMPACT

The project ran for one year from 2017 to 2018 and aimed to promote Inclusive Education through the participation of girls with disabilities in mainstream schools. STEP engaged with local community members to encourage families to send their children to school, and it distributed various assistive devices such as wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, and hearing aids in the community.

Moreover, STEP trained 90 teachers in the two identified districts on methods that can be used to teach children with disabilities. In order to build capacity, STEP has developed two comprehensive manuals: one for teacher training and one for parent-teacher councils. These manuals also include information about all available resources related to Inclusive Education.

STEP identified 220 girls with disabilities for school enrolment and provided 180 of them with assistive devices so they could continue their education. The project was implemented with the support of parent-teacher councils and school management councils in the two districts.

Three young girls in wheel chairs are ready to get pushed by three girls standing behind them at the start of a race.

Promotion of sports is a key feature of all programmes.

FUNDING, OUTLOOK AND TRANSFERABILITY

The one-year project budget was approximately $111,000, which was provided by the Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Program of USAID. STEP has not replicated the project since its completion in 2018.

In order to ensure that the 220 girls with disabilities continue their educational progress, STEP has engaged local DPOs to generate awareness of the girls’ needs among their communities, and it has requested the Ministry of Education to support the girls with a monthly stipend.

As one outcome of the lobbying efforts, the Ministry of Education has introduced special training of teachers in order to equip them with the techniques of Inclusive Education.

FACTSHEET

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LINKS AND FURTHER READING