How Zanzibar includes children with disabilities in its classrooms | Global Partnership for Education

How Zanzibar includes children with disabilities in its classrooms

Photo story of the week

Kisiwandui Primary School in Zanzibar is embracing inclusion. It welcomes 50 students with various forms of disabilities, both learning and physical challenges.

The school, through paintings on its walls, portrays children living with disabilities as able contributors and learners, and encourages others to lend a helping hand.

In this pre-primary classroom, learners of all abilities and backgrounds are encouraged to engage together and support each other in the classroom.

The teacher shows the words as she says them and then the students repeat in unison. Zanzibar is working on training its teachers on inclusion and child friendly classroom practices.

The children also look at the corresponding images in their textbooks, whose illustrations are large and visible to those that may have a visual impairment.

In a grade 6 science class, Ali Moussa and Mahmoudou, are committed to learning despite their visual impairment (front row)

They each have a small device to record the lessons, so they are able to listen back at home later for their homework.

They also have Braille machines to take notes and do exercises. Both learned to use the Braille machine in Grade 3, and before that they were using a slate and stylus to write in Braille.

Ali Moussa reads from his notes.

The teacher asks Mahmoudou to stand up and answer a question about the 5 sense organs.

Kanthar Abdalla Mdid is one of the inclusive education teachers.

She has been trained to repair the Braille machines when they break down.

Through a US$5.2 million grant, GPE supported the government of Zanzibar to make its education system more inclusive and welcome all children in the classroom. At Kisiwandui Primary School, the grant enabled the purchase of useful equipment, such a laptop computers…

as well as braille machines and teacher guides in braille.

Some of the children who need additional support sit together in a smaller classroom.

This allows individual attention, with the objective to integrate them in regular classrooms when they are ready.

Mrs. Taifa KH Ahmed (in red with her two assistants) has worked a Kisiwandui since 2010.

Thank you Kisiwandui Primary School to open your doors to us! GPE is proud to support inclusive education in Zanzibar.

Sub-Saharan Africa: Tanzania

Comments - Join the Conversation

Critical Global Educators

Dear GPE,
Well done, excellent, thank you ...

I am Senior Research Associate at UCL-IoE, London University, and an Associate Lecturer with the Open University, UK

I hope the education systems, teachers, textbooks, policies and practices are in keeping with what I describe in my Routledge 2016 publication, 'The Critical Global Educator: Global Citizenship Education as Sustainable Development'.

I don't need to or mean to sell this book, but am passionate about its message, which after 7 or so years of struggle, was finally granted an Unconditional Pass at London University.

With best wishes for your vision and mission.

Maureen Ellis
Somerset, UK

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