Inclusive Education - Leaving No One Behind

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Standard 6 at Kaphuta LEA School. Photo: RNE.

The Norwegian Embassy supports a four-year project for Inclusive Education. Delegates from the Embassy undertook a school visit this week to Kaphuta LEA School, in Mzimba South.

The Inclusive Education (IE) project is a collaboration between the Embassy and Save the Children. Save the Children, together with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) are responsible for its implementation. Through the IE approach the project seeks to create a learning environment that is conducive for all children. It reaches out to children who are otherwise excluded from an education and from a learning environment that accommodates individual learning needs. This includes children with disabilities, girls in danger of dropping out of school, children from ultra-poor households and children with learning difficulties.

In Kaphuta LEA School, out of the total enrolment of 2649 students, 94 learners have disabilities that affect their ability to keep the same learning pace as their fellow students. Kaphuta LEA School aims to compress the differences between students and provide the same learning opportunities for all children. This responds to the “Leave No One Behind” agenda (the Sustainable Development Goals).

In 2016, the project conducted a specialist-screening visit to Kaphuta LEA School. The screening revealed as mentioned that out of the total enrolment 94 students have disabilities, including hearing impairment, visual impairment, learning difficulties and physical disabilities. At Kaphuta, the 94 children are being supported with special education corresponding to their needs. For instance, a specialist teacher in a resource room through remedial lessons supports students with learning difficulties separately. Other learners are better off when integrating with fellow students in the mainstream classroom. As the school is aware of every student’s needs, it is able to contribute to a better learning environment. The delegation from the Embassy observed the project’s interventions in a special class context and in a regular classroom context where special needs learners were integrated.

When the project was initiated in 2015, teachers at Kaphuta LEA School were not easily aware what children with special needs require, or even what it was. Today, the school is seen as a model to follow. The Norwegian Embassy acknowledges the many heroes at the school and their dedication to give every child access to education.