Integration of children with disabilities in regular school systems
In 1992, International Aid Services (IAS) established its presence in Somalia/Somaliland, engaging in a feeding centre in Mogadishu. Over the years, IAS has gained vast experience in working to improve the educational environment and infrastructure in Somalia/Somalialand. In various parts of the country, teacher and community training programs have been developed, with establishment of special needs education and assessment centers in various parts, and also the promotion of vocational training. Working in Somalia/Somaliland (North West Somalia) since 2000, IAS has developed core competencies in Special Education since 2014.
IAS through its various interventions in collaboration with the Somaliland Ministry of Education and Higher Studies (MOEHS) reached out during 2015 to unreached children with disabilities (CWD) through sensitization, screening, assessment and trainings.
150 teachers trained in IE
In 2015, out of 320 teachers who received awareness on the importance of IE, 150 teachers were trained on techniques and skills of handling children with disabilities. Through IAS and Taakulo Somaliland community organization (TCS), the teachers at the Special Needs Assessment and Training Centres (SNATC) and Family network members also distributed disability mobility devices to 91 children.
Awareness of Community Education Committees (CECs) and education officials on the importance of inclusive education, topped IAS agenda as a way of improving access to education (enrolment, active participation and retention) of CWDs in schools.
As a result of these interventions, Ministry of Education (MOE), Local Authorities and School Management Committees took action that established the Special Needs Education Department within the MOE Somaliland for sustainable inclusive education. This made a contribution to the attainment of Millenium development Goal number 2, which is achieve universal primary education. The massive teachers training on best inclusive education practices, Teaching and Learning Methodologies as well as child educational assessment conducted by IAS have improved the teaching and learning outcomes.
Distribution of disability equipments In addition, the distributions of Disability Equipment’s to 91 schools, have helped children who face mobility challenges, to increase the accessibility to schools and has improved their participation in education. It has also been a relief to parents and care givers, who instead of the time-consuming task of bringing their children around, now have time for other things.
Activities used in these achievement
As the sole thematic area has been Education (SNE/IE), the major goal is the removal of barriers contributing to the exclusion and marginalization of Children with Disabilities (CWDs) in the education system. This is being progressively achieved by:
• Continued screening and assessment of children living with disabilities.
• Teacher training in basic skills and techniques to support learners with diverse abilities, thereby eliminating negative attitudes towards CWDs.
Activities used in this progressive achievement:
Out of 213 children with SNE accessing SNE services, 41 have been integrated into various regular schools in various regions of Somalia/Somaliland within their reach.
• 150 teachers have been trained in skills and techniques of handling of children with disabilities. 70 have graduated and awarded certificate in SNE.
• 105 People from the communities trained in SNE
• 2 inclusive classes have been furnished in Berbera and Borama
• 6 Schools constructed with disability friendly sanitary facilities and physical accessibility improved (ramps constructed at classrooms doorways)
• 35 CECs have received awareness on the importance of IE as well as management and leadership skills.
• Out 152 persons with physical disabilities, 93 children with mobility challenges have received disability mobility assistive devices.