Your Letters

I write to explore the possibility of your organisation furnishing me with information about how to implement the INCLUSION PROCESS. I work in a community-based programme that is committed to advancing the health, environmental and educational needs of rural people. I founded and continue to co-ordinate the programme together with 3 other volunteer teachers like myself. It is operating under a Village Development Committee. It is a grass-roots programme and needs technical expertise and support. How can we implement inclusive education where disabled children are cared for by a community-based programme?

Dawda Joof

If you have any ideas or suggestions, please write to Dawda at this address:

Co-ordinator, Partnership for Rural Development Project, Fass Njagga Choi Village, Lower Nuimi District, North Bank Division, The Gambia

I am delighted to see that EENET is up and running. I have been working in child international health and disability for more than 20 years and have a long interest in education in developing countries. I am writing now about work I am doing in Manchester with Somali refugees. There are a bunch of young Somalis who have missed out on all their schooling. They had 8 years of war and no schools in Somalia. Then when they came to Manchester aged about 13, they were put in remedial classes until they left aged 16. They are now 19-21 and at last a project has begun in a church hall to try to help them. Lots of refugee children get into this situation. Does this link with any work you are doing here, or know of worldwide, on helping children from war zones get the education they missed?

Dr Hermione Lovel

If you have any information that would help Hermione, contact her at:

School of Primary Care, Rusholme Health Centre, Walmer Street, Manchester M14 5NP Fax: +44 (0)161 256 1070

I am writing in reference to your beautiful and interesting introduction to EENET which appeared in Healthwrights of May 1999. Myself, I worked with Gandhi with basic education. Now I am in a small hilly village with little village school. It is a school for total village and total education. This school is dedicated to village civilisation and problems. It is an open-air-under-tree shelter. Poor peasants and children mutually work and learn. Teaching has been very little. Educating the village community is the first item. I shall be very grateful if you could enlighten me about EENET.

MS Simpanna
Hotel Madhuvana, Room No 213, Chamarajpet, Bangalore - 560 002, India.

"I do think EENET is filling a gap and providing an excellent service."

I have just read and been completely encouraged by your Enabling Education publication - Issue 3 - which was handed to me by a colleague - I haven't even found out how she got hold of it, but I want more! The Western Cape Forum for Inclusive Education, a group of parents and NGOs working in the disability field, have been pushing hard to promote Inclusive Education for the past 3 years. Things are moving slowly at legislation level, slowly at Education department level, slightly less slowly at individual teacher level....We have this rather strange combination of first and third world communities (North and South) which is quite a challenge. There's a danger of pushing ahead at a first world level and saying that the third world communities aren't ready for it yet. Hence the inspiration from your publication!

Caroline Taylor
46 Bathurst Road, Kenilworth, Cape 7708, South Africa.

Thank you for sending me EENET's newsletters, the report of the IDDC seminar in Agra and the accompanying video. They have made me 10 inches taller in knowledge and experience in inclusive education. I have watched the video more than three times. I feel like I was part of the Agra seminar.

I would like to say something about the use of words or terms. In our attempts to implement inclusion and inclusive education, all educational practitioners need to reflect on words or terminologies we use to describe 'differences' and 'disabilities'. Such words rather 'exclude' instead of 'include' people. Such words are not soft and kind. We must be soft-spoken and mild and say what we see, hear or perceive. My observations are as follows:

Using average instead of normal child is better. After all, are there not abnormalities with the so-called 'normal' persons? Yes, of course.

We can describe people as having 'difficulty hearing' instead of 'deaf and dumb'; 'difficulty moving' instead of 'cerebral palsy' or 'physically disabled' ; difficulty adjusting instead of 'emotional disorders'; 'difficulty remembering' instead of 'mentally retarded'.

Thomas Patrick Otaah

Ofinso Training College, PO Box 7, Ofinso-Ashanti, Ghana. Fax: +233 21 233 14 23

The 6 Education For All goals

  1. Expansion of early childhood care and developmental activities, especially for poor, disadvantaged and disabled children.
  2. Universal access to, and completion of, primary education by the year 2000.
  3. Improvement in learning achievement such that an agreed percentage age group (eg 80% of 14 year olds) reaches a defined level of necessary learning achievement.
  4. Reduction of the adult illiteracy rate to, for example, one half its level by the year 2000, with emphasis on female literacy.
  5. Expansion of basic education and training in other essential skills required by youth and adults for improved health, employment and productivity.
  6. Increased acquisition by individuals and families of the knowledge, skills and values required for better living and for sound and sustainable development made available through the mass media, modern and traditional communication technologies and social action.

Framework for Action to Meet Basic Learning Needs Jomtien, 1990

Reference:
Link: http://www.eenet.org.uk/resources/eenet_newsletter/news4/page14.php
Published in: Enabling Education 4