Teachers with the right training can make a huge difference in giving children with disabilities access to a quality education. Itinerant teachers travel around numerous schools and homes to give support and advice, while other teachers are classroom-based.
Harriet Nyendwoha, an itinerant teacher, says: “There are many disabled children who are helpless, lying in villages, hidden in houses. People have such negative attitudes towards them. I wanted to make changes in people – the thing I enjoy most about my job is being able to help children with special needs.”
Harriet trained by attending workshops in how to teach children with special needs the skills they need to live independently. She was also trained in guidance and counselling for parents, and awareness-raising for schools and communities. She regularly visits 18 schools to identify children who may need support, and does home visits too.
“I use the resource room (built with support from Sightsavers) to train the other teachers. Three have had formal special needs training, and are now officially support staff. But many other teachers have picked up skills in how to support the special needs children, as they have developed an interest. It is a great thing as children are able to learn from one another.”