In Ethiopia children with disabilities face many barriers and challenges to accessing a quality education. Yet when children learn together and grow together everyone benefits. The benefits of inclusive education now are widely recognised, but despite appetite for change, much progress remains to be made.
Teachers often lack the resources, techniques and skills to identify and include children with disabilities. Schools may not have the infrastructure to support the inclusion of children with disabilities, and families of disabled children may not have the means to send all their children to school. Children with disabilities can face additional challenges such as being from a poor background, living in a rural location, and not having their right to education recognised on account of their gender.
Link Ethiopia works with students, schools, teachers and families in order to maximise the number of children with disabilities attending school regularly and receiving the support they need to participate in their education. We are working with families and the local government in order to identify and help children who are not enrolled in school, helping them to overcome barriers to their registration and attendance in school. Many students already enrolled in schools have unidentified disabilities, meaning that there remains a significant obstacle to their learning that is not being addressed. Schools are often not equipped to include and support the children with disabilities that they aware of, and so Link Ethiopia will be working with teachers to give them the training and resources required to both identify children with disabilities, and to include and support them to flourish in the classroom.
What stage are we at?
With support from the Mohammed S. Farsi Foundation we have been able to undertake a two year project aimed at increasing the support for students with disabilities. This has involved teacher training, establishing special educational needs resource centres, providing additional tuition and increasing the amount of resources, such as braille and sign language books. We have used what we learned during this project as a jumping off point for a broader piece of research which is currently ongoing. The information and data we gather here will help us to make our projects in the area as effective as possible, and will also highlight other important areas for research and enquiry in the future.
What can your money do?
- £21 Pays for one awareness raising commumnity outreach event
- £32 Pays for one student to attend extra tuition classes for one year
- £65 pays for two specialist SEN learning packs for blind, deaf and autistic students
- £100 pays for one teacher to attend a two day practical disability inclusion workshop
- £150 pays for a income generation grant for one family of a student with a disability
Fund a programme
Special educational needs and disability training improves teachers’ ability to identify and include disabled children in their classes, providing them with the skills, techniques, resources and confidence to support and teach learners with disabilities. £2,000 pays for the training of twenty teachers and for their support for nine months.
We will work with schools to ensure that the school environment and facilities are accessible, welcoming and that resources are adapted to the needs of all students, to facilitate inclusion of children with disabilities. £650 will pay for one school to join this programme, providing clear guidance, support and criteria for achieving an inclusive school environment, while providing incentives in the form of recognition and school prizes.
Link Ethiopia wants to produce a simple and easy to use guide and toolkit to help teachers to identify and include children in their classes with disabilities. It will be designed with other organisations specialising in inclusive education and those working in similar contexts in Ethiopia. Most importantly we will have discussions with teachers, schools and students in order to understand what works best.
Students with disabilities are often at greater risk of falling behind in their studies as teachers and schools aren’t always able to give them the support they need. Extra tuition gives these students the chance to catch up, improve their grades, and become more engaged in their education. £2,410 pays for 75 students in three schools to attend extra classes for one year.