Every few months we post updates on the key steps in the OPD capacity building project.
Update 5: Foundational training roll-out, October 2021
In the last few months the District Union Facilitators have been delivering the foundational training to their members. The training programme builds action research and advocacy into every stage of the training process. This means that OPD District Unions don’t just learn about inclusive education theory. They actively engage in investigating inclusive education in their communities and they work on ways to promote and boost inclusion of learners with disabilities.
During the first training cycle, participants have used the action research skills they learned to assess attitudes towards inclusive education within their communities. They will build on this in the second and third training and action research cycles, building up ultimately to some bigger advocacy actions.
Update 4: First training workshop completed, May 2021
The first workshop for training District Union Facilitators has been run. This covered the foundational training module – an introduction to the concept of inclusive education and OPDs’ role in promoting it.
The training included facilitation skills training. This was included because the DUFs are not necessarily experienced trainers already. They may need some additional support before being ready to train District Union members. Training programmes often make the mistake of assuming that anyone can become a trainer simply by attending a workshop on a certain subject. But learning about a topic is very different from then being able to train someone else on it. That’s why we have prioritised helping DUFs to build and practise their core facilitation skills as well as their knowledge of inclusive education.
We made a short video about facilitation skills too. This was done during COVID-19 restrictions so it’s a compilation of existing footage and images because new filming was not possible.
Update 3: Illustrations created, March 2021
We have been working with an amazing Ugandan illustrator to create context-specific illustrations designed for the Ugandan context. The illustrations help convey key messages from the training. They will aid understanding and accessibility and reduce reliance on written text.
Update 2: Foundational training module created, December 2020
A foundational training module has been developed which introduces the basics of inclusive education. We used the inclusive education teacher training modules as a starting point, but have shortened, simplified and adapted the content and activities for the OPD audience.
Due to the unpredictability of the pandemic, initially we thought we might need to develop a virtual training for the District Union Facilitators (see update 1 for an explanation of DUFs). Fortunately, it will be possible for workshops to be held. So EENET is working closely with two facilitators from NAD Uganda and NUDIPU. They will run the workshops, with remote coaching from EENET. EENET’s consultants will also make short video clips to be shown in the workshops, and attend some workshop sessions via Zoom. For the foundational module of the training the two facilitators from the teacher training programme will also provide support.
Update 1: Scoping stage, July 2020
The project got off to a slow start due to COVID-19. By March it became clear that EENET’s team would not be able to travel for some time, so we had to completely change the project plans
A scoping process has been completed, to find out about the current role of OPDs in inclusive education, and any previous training experiences. EENET’s team supported the investigation process remotely. There were detailed discussions with personnel from NUDIPU, and a literature review. In addition, a needs assessment was conducted using questionnaires and telephone interviews with members of the OPD District Unions. The scoping sought to understand more about OPDs in Uganda, their current engagement with inclusive education, and their interests and needs for becoming stronger advocates for inclusive education.
EENET, NAD and NUDIPU also worked together with District Unions to identify ‘District Union Facilitators’ (DUFs). The DUFs will be a bit like the Principal Trainers in the teacher training programme. They will be trained on inclusive education and then actively engage in reviewing, adapting and improving the training. Then they will roll out the training to members of District Unions.