What happens to children who don't fit the education mold in a third world nation? This project will train a Montessori HS teacher for the only high school that is focused on serving children who do not fit the IGCSE curriculum. The Montessori school is located in Eswatini (Swaziland) and attracts families from throughout Eswatini as well as outside Eswatini.
Special needs children often are slighted in mainstream schooling, perhaps more so in countries such as Eswatini. The parents of a down syndrome daughter could not find an appropriate school for her. The mother and a friend who was a trained Montessori teacher opened a primary school in 2005 for 20 special needs children including her daughter. By 2016 the need for a high school for such children became apparent. Lilima Montessori High School opened 2017. Demand has continued to grow.
Training more Montessori secondary teachers will enable Lilima Montessori High School to expand. It will serve more children with special needs, such as down syndrome children, plus young learners and especially adolescents with learning or behavioral differences that result in their falling through the cracks when in a traditional learning environment.
Lilima has already seen the positive impact of applying Montessori principles to its students. Since the high school start, students who had been labelled in some form or another have transformed into confident and successful adults. Many have succeeded against all odds. One of its 2020 graduates was recently awarded a $60,000 scholarship to study performing arts in Los Angeles, California. Increasing its teaching staff will expand its transformational program to more children in need.
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