Phalombe district education manager (DEM) Lewis Chakhota has said periodic teacher training in special needs education (SNE) can address gaps teachers have in handling learners with special needs.
Chakhota made the remarks at Nazombe Full Primary School Saturday last week when he closed a four-day SNE training organised by the Malawi Union of the Blind (MUB) to equip teachers with skills in handling learners with special needs.
Chakhota said his office is facing serious challenges to enhance inclusive education because of lack of essential facilities in public schools to allow for the inclusion of learners with special needs such as the visually-impaired.
“Special needs education is a big problem in this district because we do not have specialist teachers to handle learners with special needs,” said the DEM, adding that the district has many learners who need special attention.
He, however, indicated that trainings MUB has been conducting over the past months have helped in addressing the knowledge gaps among teachers on how to handle special needs learners.
MUB inclusive education coordinator Stuart Chauluka said the training was aimed at equipping teachers with skills to handle learners with special needs.
Chauluka said his organisation—which has sourced funding from a Norwegian organisation called Operations Day Work (ODW)—wants to ensure that learners with special needs are not only accessing quality education, but also their participation and performance in class increased.
“Our mission is to see that all learners, irrespective of their disabilities, benefit from quality education if Malawi is to achieve a meaningful socioeconomic development,” he said.
At least 81 teachers from 11 schools in Nazombe Zone were targeted with the training.