-Sometimes in Africa it's really difficult for the families to understand the importance of school and learning process. How do you plan to guarantee that children will be learning?
Within our project we have planned a series of workshops and trainings with parents on the project to ensure their buy in from the beginning of the programme.
We have refined our project since our user map and beneficiary consultation. We now envision that the core content of the curriculum would be delivered using existing processes (made accessible for people with disabilities using LCD expertise) that have been adapted for home learning. Mobile technology would be used to encourage reflective discussion with peers and teachers, and provide an avenue for teachers to support at a distance. We believe that this component is an essential part of learning.
There will be a process of assessment so the teacher, parent and child can keep track of their own progress. LCD has been working in the field of inclusive education in Zambia for the last three years, and has developed strategies to work with parents who may be reluctant to prioritise education for their child. We have managed to achieve a huge amount of success in this area, and in our current programme we have facilitated the access of 500 children with disabilities into school.
We have reviewed the questions below and will respond in comments. As our answers are quite long - I will answer in separate comments.
What do you envision as a 5-8 year plan to educate this girls and enrol them with the society?
The project we have envisioned is designed to reach the most marginalised girls with disabilities within society. Inaccessible infrastructure, poverty and attitudinal barriers all contribute to this exclusion, and projects that seek to tackle this problem must be multifaceted. The girls we are targeting for the pilot are age 11, and have intermittent access to school. For our Amplify project, we are envisioning targeting a small number of girls to ensure that we able to refine and learn from the approach before seeking further funding from additional sources and buy-in from the Government of Zambia . A five year plan to fully educate out of school girls with disabilities (although boys with disabilities would also benefit) and ensure their inclusion would involve the following aspects:
1) Learn from the pilot phase of the project and adapt the approach to be more applicable to a wider audience 2) Ensure that each child targeted by the project has a bespoke plan to re-enrol them back into mainstream school 3) Sensitise Ministry of Education, school management and government on the needs of girls with disabilities and the potential of using other technologies and creative strategies to overcome challenges related to accessibility. 4) Work with the government to tackle the root causes of disability exclusion through campaigning for the full implementation of the UNCRPD. 5) Work with schools and vocational institutes to adopt inclusive practices and to make the most of available technology to involve children with disabilities. 6) Engage with people with disabilities, their families and community members to understand the importance of educating children with disabilities and to tackle negative attitudes relating to disability 7) Engage with tertiary education and employers to ensure that after girls finish secondary school they have viable career options and the ability to move on to tertiary education or employment should they wish to do so
It is LCD’s ambition that the solution proposed to the Amplify Challenge would act as way to re-integrate out of school girls with disabilities back into mainstream schooling, unless there are extenuating circumstances that mean that only option is for the child to learn full time at home. A five to eight year programme for out of school girls with disabilities would involve using a multi stakeholder approach to create the support mechanism necessary to fully or partly integrate children with disabilities back into education. LCD has been implementing an inclusive education project across Zambia for the past three years, and has developed approaches and best practice related to the above.