ENABLE: Technology can increase access to education for children with disabilities

Teacher training and new technology shall increase access to education for children with disabilities in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

Project title: ENABLE: Higher Education and Multimedia in Special Needs Education and Rehabilitation

Background

Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya have adopted the policy of providing education for all and are implementing universal primary school education. In Uganda, the policy of universal education was implemented in 1997 and priority was given to children with disabilities. Government reports show that children with hearing impairment constitute the largest percentage of the children with disabilities enrolled in Ugandan primary schools as of 2009. Children with visual impairment are the second largest group. This is also the case for Tanzania, and it is expected that the situation in Kenya is similar.

The role of teachers and multimedia

Teachers play a key role in meeting the needs of children in their classrooms. This role is challenging. Both special needs classrooms and in inclusive classrooms bring together children with diverse educational and social needs. Barriers to learning and participation may arise due to a variety of factors such as rigid curricular and systems of education.

However, these barriers may be exacerbated by inadequate preparation of teachers. Teacher training may improve participation and accommodation of children with special needs. Visual media may increase quality and quantity in information dissemination in society at large, and in educational settings including teacher education.

Innovative teaching and research

The partners in the project wish to collaborate to strengthen research capacity about inclusive and special needs and teacher education, and continue to raise the quality of teacher education for special needs education and inclusion.

The project will improve the master’s degree in special needs education at Kyambogo University and upgrade the qualifications of the academic staff at the institutions. In addition to this the project will establish the web portal “Sensory Impairment” which will be closely linked to the curriculum in the master’s program, and take account of knowledge from experts about sensory impairments in the countries involved.

Media rich content will help students acquire an understanding of concepts were words alone are inefficient, as well as be an open resource for other groups who seek information about sensory impairments. The portal is committed not only to provide information about disabilities, but will also be an important aid for people with different disabilities. The portal will be created with an emphasis on universal design.

Key goals and achievements

Overall goal

Improved conditions for persons with sensory impairments in East African countries.

The objectives of the project are

  1. The public is better informed about sensory impairments
  2. Strengthened universities/institutions in the field of special needs education

 

Students at University of Dar-es-Salaam.
Photo: Ken Opprann
Published 24.06.2013
Last updated 16.02.2015

Total budget

2013-2018: 14 million NOK

Contact persons for the project:

Dr. Stackus Ockwaput, Senior Lecturer, Kyambogo University,
e-mail: stackuso@gmail.com

Dr. Bjørn Skaar, Associate professor, University of Oslo,
e-mail: bjorn.skaar@iped.uio.no