DFederation of Disability Organisations in Malawi (Fedoma) has donated assistive devices to school-going children in Lilongwe, Mchinji and Salima.
The items—worth about K13 million ($30 000)—sourced with support from the World Bank in support of the federation’s Inclusive Education project were given through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology on Wednesday in Lilongwe.
They included 47 wheel chairs, 28 magnifying glasses, 46 white canes, 19 crutches, 12 splints, three compressor nebulisers and a pump for learners with visual and mobility challenges.
Speaking when handing over the items to the beneficiaries drawn from 30 primary schools across Lilongwe, Mchinji and Salima districts, Fedoma board chairperson Nitta Hanjahanja pointed out that the items will promote inclusive education.
“The significance of inclusive education cannot be over-emphasised. As a federation, we want every school to be able to cater for learners with special educational needs. We hope this gesture will go a long way in the country’s attempts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), “she said.
In his remarks, director of primary school education in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Joseph Chimombo called the intervention timely, saying it is in line with the government’s National Education Sector Plan [2008-2017].
However, he was quick to note that the drive is also creating some challenges to the education sector.
Said Chimombo: “The numbers of enrolled pupils with disabilities has increased from 88 666 in 2011 to 115 208 nationwide. This means we need more special-needs teachers; hence, our calls for concerted efforts.”n