A well-timed newsletter!
Thank you for Newsletter 9, which included articles about the use of art, dance and images in inclusive education. You came at the right time with this information. I am a theatre practitioner working with the Swaziland Association of Theatre for Children and Young People. We use theatre as a life skill and as a tool to educate and inform people on dangers and social issues at community and national level. Theatre has proved to be a powerful form of information dissemination and education. We have plays on HIV/AIDS issues with the involvement of the disabled. I strongly feel theatre can be more effective in the Enabling Education Network. We would like to network with all countries/organisations involved in such work.
Zodwa T. Gama, P.O. Box 472, Mbabane, Swaziland. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Girl child drop-out
I finished my teacher training in 2004. At my first school I observed that the number of girls in grade 4 was quite impressive, but when I was given class 7, I discovered a noticeable drop in numbers – almost half. Traditional attitudes which favour males in education contradict the gender policy in education in Zambia. So I found it very important to identify the deep-rooted causes of this girl child drop-out. I investigated the situation, through reading documents and talking to people in my area, and found that causes included: financial reasons; parents’ low education levels; girls’ low self-esteem; early pregnancy; teachers’ negative attitudes towards girls, especially in science subjects. I worked to raise parents’ awareness that sending girls to school can positively contribute to the development of the country. Some parents have now changed their negative attitude and vowed to continue their education. I would like to correspond with other teachers working on these issues around the world.
Augustine Chulube, Kashitu Middle Basic School, P.O. Box 490025, Kaputa, Zambia.
Bringing diagrams to life
I have often used the diagrams from the book “Inclusive Education: Where there are few resources“. My sister redrew the pictures of the peg boards for me to use in training seminars and for explaining the difference between special, integrated and inclusive education. I found the illustrations very useful. They present a very concrete explanation which has been effective with people with all levels of education. I asked a local carpenter to make me a wooden version of the boards which I use when training. They make the diagrams come to life and help blind participants to appreciate the concept more. Here are the drawings for others to use.
Karen Chesterton, currently working as Disability and Education Adviser for Afghanistan Ministry of Education, through UNDP. Email: email@example.com , or contact through EENET’s postal address.
Differences between special, integrated and inclusive education
An education system for ‘normal’ children (round pegs); a different system for ‘special needs’ children (square pegs)
Trying to change children so they fit into the ‘normal’ system (making square pegs fit into round holes)
All children are different – we change the system to accommodate everyone
Wooden boards made in Afghanistan
Editor’s note: Copies of “Inclusive Education: Where there are few resources” (950k) (published by Atlas Alliance) are available free from EENET.