Placing teachers with disabilities in regular schools
- Lesothian Ministry of Education and Training
- Country of Implementation
- Subsaharan Africa
- Start Year
- First published
“My students are really fascinated to see me teaching them in this state. They are now passionate to learn and to pursue their studies.” Ms. Mankotseng Lebona Mphahama, visually impaired teacher.
It is generally believed that persons with disabilities are not capable of teaching in schools, and most schools lack the special equipment that persons with disabilities need in order to meet the same quality standards as persons without disabilities. Additionally, tasks such as marking papers and holding examinations for children without disabilities are deemed too difficult.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
Teachers with disabilities are placed in regular schools and provided with assistant teachers for support. These teachers receive a salary and accommodations, and inspectors from the Ministry of Education and Training pay regular visits to the respective schools to ensure that the working standards for disabled staff are provided. As a result, teachers are also able to share their concerns and experience with staff from the Ministry’s Special Education Unit. In order to sensitize school personnel to the issues associated with teachers with disabilities, 25 staff members were given training and an accommodation manual was produced.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
The project is self-sustainable as the initiative is run by the government. The project has been so successful that, going forward, the government is seeking to increase the employment for people with disabilities in the education sector, especially in public schools.
THE STORY OF MANKOTSENG LEBONA MPHAHAMA, TEACHER
“I am proud to be a teacher now.”
My name is Mankotseng Lebona Mphahama. I am visually impaired, but despite my disability I had the opportunity to attend Lesotho College of Education, where I pursued a degree in secondary education and specialised in Sesotho and English languages. During this time I experienced many challenges because there were no assistive devices to help me to learn just like other students, and the lecturers were not willing to accommodate my disability. But now I am proud that I have been employed as a teacher here at Maseru Day High School despite my impairment. My students are really fascinated to see me teaching them, and they are passionate to learn and to pursue their studies further without any hesitation regardless of poverty or disability