The objective of this project is: To Provide qualitative Education to Children with Disabilities (CWDs) including Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) through inclusion.INTRODUCTIONGoing to school is one of the few rites of passage shared in countries the world over. School is where we learn the skills to prepare us for our responsibilities as adults. School is where we make friends to last a lifetime. School is where we learn about the rules that govern our communities and our nations. Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees “the right to education… directed to the full development of the human personality and promot(ing) understanding, tolerance and friendship.”
Yet 77 million children are not in school – and at least 25 million of them have a disability (UNESCO, 2006). Even more appalling, no more than 5% of children with disabilities complete even a primary education (World Bank, 2003). Most of those children live in developing countries.
In Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries and countries in transition, many children with disabilities are also out of school. Our members report that most other children with disabilities do not attend school with their non-disabled peers or do not receive the supports they need.
IN COUNTRYAlthough there many reforms and policies in the education sector of our country, yet no deliberate or specific policies and guidelines for the education of persons (children) with special needs in our nation. Furthermore, inadequate and qualified personnel are a huge challenge in this sector of our national lives.
Children with special needs are often negated or neglected apart from the few privileged that are found in the generally under-furnished and staffed special schools.
The community plays little or no role in the all-round development of persons with special needs in our communities. A majority of them are seen as object of pity. While some of the children with special needs including adults are being used by family members for their sustenance through begging.”
The challenges of inclusive education being faced by children with special needs include:i. Non enforcement of section 56 of National Policy on Education by Federal and State Ministries of Educationii. Regular schools and teachers have little or no information, instructional guidelines or materials on how to handle and instruct children with special educational needs in their schools.iii. Governments are more concerned about literacy and its management than special needs education. The Universal Basic Education Program laid more emphasis on basic educationiv. Parents and families may be ashamed to exposed their children with special needs.v. Special education professional do not take part in policy making on issues concerning the education of special needs childrenvi. etc
Benefits of Inclusive Education:
For Students With Disabilities1. Friendships 2. Increased social initiations, relationships and networks 3. Peer role models for academic, social and behavior skills 4. Increased achievement of IEP goals 5. Greater access to general curriculum 6. Enhanced skill acquisition and generalization 7. Increased inclusion in future environments 8. Greater opportunities for interactions 9. Higher expectations 10. Increased school staff collaboration 11. Increased parent participation 12. Families are more integrated into community For Students Without Disabilities1. Meaningful friendships 2. Increased appreciation and acceptance of individual differences 3. Increased understanding and acceptance of diversity 4. Respect for all people 5. Prepares all students for adult life in an inclusive society 6. Opportunities to master activities by practicing and teaching others 7. Greater academic outcomes 8. All students needs are better met, greater resources for everyone
Case Stories:Miss Hajara Mohammed Gali is 13 years old. She is the 1st of 6 children. Hajara was born normally. She developed a lump/swelling on her right knee which was operated upon in a hospital before she was a week old. Hajara is the only child with disabilities in the family. Her school has a population of 1517 children with 6 others having disabilities
Hajara defies all challenges by “crawling” to reach the school (come rain come sun) compound 500 meters from her home. She is so inquisitive to learn. She is in primary 4 pupil and performs averagely in a class of 40. Hajara is looking forward to be promoted into the next grade by September 2012.
Hajara lives within a family of 9 in Tsafi community which has a population of 15,000. It is an agrarian community 15 kilometers away from the local government headquarters. Tsafi has primary and a day secondary school. According to the head-teacher, the community has up to 40 persons with disabilities.
Aspirations: Hajara proclaimed “I want to further my education to university level.” I hope to get married and raise a family after my university education. “My mates/colleagues have been good to me within and outside the classrooms.” My teachers are tender hearted and hard-working.” I just love being in school.Life cannot be without challenges especially to female with disabilities. I have been crawling from my home (500 meters) to school not minding the weather. Thank CYDI for providing a wheel chair to facilited my movement. Although some of my senior friends do carry me on their backs. In fact, my dress doesn’t last long in comparison to my peers and younger ones. “I always appear untidy or un-kept.” My knees and palms have developed callouses. My family has been responsible for my welfare and upkeep.
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