This article has been published in Enabling Education 11
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Your letters/emails

One of our goals is to encourage readers to engage with the information they read in EENET’s newsletter, website and other documentation that we share. We want readers to feel inspired to respond, or to have a direct discussion with the authors. Here, Joseph Evans explains how EENET’s materials have inspired his work.

Using EENET and ISEC materials in Namibia

On a regular check of the EENET website, I saw you say that if I had some information I would like to share with others I could write to you. Recently, I published a flyer on inclusive education, drawing most of my reference from material from the Inclusive and Supportive Education Congress (ISEC) 2005. In this respect I wish to say a big thank you for the ISEC 2005 CD that I received from Inclusive Technology [the company that sponsors EENET’s website]. The flyer I wrote has now been distributed to our 61 schools in the region, public libraries, Ministry of Education Headquarters and Voluntary Service Overseas Namibia, among other. An extract of the flyer is reproduced below. [The flyer focuses on teacher development issues, which were covered in EENET’s 2006 newsletter. You can find the full text from this flyer on EENET’s website.]

I have also had an article – “Strides made in implementing inclusive education in Otjozondjupa Region” – published in the Ministry of Education Official Newsletter (April 2007). I am just proud of you people. I owe it all to you. The information on the EENET website is not only rich and informative but also very entertaining to read. Please keep it up.

Extract from Joseph’s inclusive education flyer

Tips for teachers
Are you specialised? You do not need to be, this can come later.

  • Believe in yourself. You can be a victim of your own making.
  • Build your awareness about your skills, abilities and knowledge.
  • Build your self-confidence and try out innovative or creative teaching strategies.
  • Have a clear purpose when planning your lessons, bearing in mind that there are learners who have learning difficulties.
  • Commitment to your work will be very satisfying.
  • Share your knowledge with others. It makes teaching enjoyable.
  • Recognise your sense of worth. Many times you undervalue your input.
  • Do not be afraid of valuing your practices and stressing on the positive aspects of being a teacher.
  • Listen to others’ experiences. Avoid working in isolation.
  • Recognise that as much as you do bad things you also have good things that you do or are capable of doing.
  • Do not be afraid of exposing your weaknesses. After all, each one of us has some weaknesses.
  • Know your learners in terms of their interests, abilities, background, and family history and plan accordingly.
  • Refuse to be the owner of knowledge in the classroom.
  • Make your learners responsible for their own learning and let them participate fully.
  • Use different activities to keep the learners engaged.
  • Manage your time. It is a strong weapon against weaknesses.
  • Assess your work frequently in order to establish your level of success

Remember, you always know more than you are aware of!

Joseph M. Evans
Regional Inclusive Education Advisor (VSO)
Otjozondjupa Regional Education Office
Private Bag 2618

Contact us, contact each other!
EENET received about 40 emails and letters directly in response to the 2006 newsletter. Many commented on the quality and usefulness of the articles (so our thanks go to all of last year’s authors for their excellent contributions). Some people wrote asking for more copies of the newsletter to share with their colleagues or to distribute more widely in their local area. Others asked us to send them documents, or help them get hold of documents, listed in the Useful Publications page. We also know that people contact article authors directly to discuss experiences and share ideas.

So, please contact us if:

  • you have any comments on this newsletter (e.g. was there anything you found helpful, or anything you disagreed with?)
  • you have any ideas for themes for future newsletters
  • you want to write an article
  • you want help getting hold of any documents listed in the Useful Publications page

And please feel free to contact any of the authors who have written articles in this year’s newsletter. Ask them questions, give them feedback, share ideas. That’s what EENET is all about!