Education authorities in the Northwest Region and the CBC Health Services have celebrated the 2015 World Inclusion Day with a call for inclusive education to be included in policies in Cameroon. The day was celebrated at Government Bilingual High School (GBHS) Bamenda on October 2, 2015 under the theme “Celebrating diversity through inclusive education”.
Activities to mark the event started on October 1, 2015 with a workshop on inclusive education organized by the Socio Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disability (SEEPD) Programme.
Opening the workshop, the Northwest Regional Delegate of Basic Education, Madam Fon Suzan applauded the effort of the SEEPD Programme in implementing inclusive education in the region. She noted that the CBC Integrated schools for the Deaf and Blind and 14 pilot schools for inclusive education initiated by the CBC Health Services have greatly assisted learners with impairments. She called on the participants to make use of knowledge gained from the workshop.
The Northwest Regional Pedagogic Adviser of Basic Education, Mrs. Iwu Dohmatob Rose for her part said the Ministry of Basic Education is working hard to promote inclusive education. She averred that the Ministry has been working in partnership with the Ministry of Social Affairs, UNICEF, Sight Savers and CBC Health Services in promoting inclusive education.
According to Mrs. Iwu, in two years to come, a national policy on inclusive education will elaborate the training of personnel, the putting in place of special equipment for inclusive education, amongst others.
Drilling the participants on inclusion, the SEEPD Education Advisor, Mrs. Fobuzie Bridget stressed that education is a human right, stating that every child has a right to be educated. She noted that it is the responsibility of the government to put in place structures that will enable every child to study in inclusive settings.
The workshop ended with an open-door day in GBHS Bamenda during which students with impairments clamored for their rights to education through songs, poems, speeches and news cast among other things.
Speaking at the open-door day the First Deputy Mayor for Bamenda I revealed that the Ministries of Basic and Secondary education have formed a joint committee to work on the promotion of inclusive education.
The Principal of GBHS Bamenda, Mr. Tangyie Peter appreciated the SEEPD Programme for choosing his school as one of the inclusive education pilot schools. He said thanks to inclusive education, GBHS now has a new structure hosting the resource room for learners with impairments, a water tank, and staff exposure.
Over 80 head teachers, principals, pedagogic advisors, inspectors and delegates of education in the Northwest Region visited the resource room at GBHS Bamenda where assistive software for learners with visual and hearing impairments, smart pens, recorders and embossers were exhibited. The assistive devices have been provided to the resource room by Chistofel Blinded Mission (CBM); the main funding partner of the SEEPD Programme
The 17 pilot schools received certificates of recognition for work done in the area of inclusive education.