Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) Synod of Livingstonia Education Department has rolled out a K1.2 billion inclusive education project in three districts in the Northern Region.
The project, funded by the Scottish Government, aims at promoting a conducive learning environment for about 6 000 learners with disabilities from Chitipa, Rumphi and Nkhata Bay.
Speaking during a tour aimed at assessing impact of the project, the synod’s Inclusive Education Department project manager Thomas Nkhonjera said they want to reach out to 6 000 learners by 2023.
He said: “We want parents of children with disabilities [CWDs] to join hands and support their children’s education.
“We also target teachers to embrace CWDs and ensure that they catch up on lessons.
“Again, mode of delivery for lessons should be easy for CWDs to understand.”
Nkhonjera said so far they have reached 2 560 learners in primary and secondary schools.
Kawale Primary School head teacher Jane Mukumbwa said the project will change people’s attitude towards CWDs in Chitipa.
Chitipa CCAP Primary School Standard Six teacher Mwawi Minga also commended the project.
He said absenteeism of CWDs will drop and enrollment will increase.
Chitipa district special needs desk officer Denis Mwenebiba said shortage of special needs teachers is a challenge.
“The district has six special needs primary school teachers against 179 primary schools and one special needs secondary school teacher against 28 secondary schools,” he said.
Mwenebiba, however, said government is offering training to teachers on how best they can handle special needs children.
The synod’s 2018 study established that 89 percent of people did not support CWDs on education and 90 percent of the teachers lacked capacity to handle CWDs.