By Fru Rita Ngum
The Socio Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disability (SEEPD) Programme of the CBC Health Services (CBCHS) has supported 5 inclusive schools in the NWR with the sum of 500,000fcfa each, making a total of 2.5m fcfa. The financial support is thanks to funding from SEEPD’s funding partner, CBM Australia.
SEEPD Programme Education Advisor, Mrs. Fobuzie Bridget disclosed the information to the Delegates of Basic and Secondary Education authorities in the NWR on July 5, 2017 at the end of a two-day workshop organized by the SEEPD Programme in collaboration with the Delegations of Basic and Secondary Education. The workshop took place at the Conference Hall of the Delegation of Secondary Education under the theme, “The role of education authorities in fostering inclusive education”.
Addressing participants at the beginning of the workshop, the NW Regional Delegate of Secondary Education, Mr. Mombakued Victor recounted that the SEEPD Programme has built the capacities of teachers on inclusive education for a number of years. With the knowledge acquired over the years, the Delegate charged members of the education family to practice inclusive education at their levels so that learners with impairments will continue to be incorporated in the educational system in Cameroon.
With just one year few months to the end of phase three, the SEEPD Programme has continued to put in place strategies of sustainability. In this regard, the SEEPD Programme Manager, Mr. Awa Jacques Chirac pointed out that the workshop was an opportunity for education authorities to exchange ideas and success stories on inclusive education so that each of them can strengthen their gaps. On behalf of the CBCHS, Mr. Awa applauded the collaboration of education authorities in promoting inclusive education.
In a presentation on Inclusive Education, Mrs. Fobuzie Bridget noted that disability is one aspect of human diversity. She called on the teachers to always do need assessment before providing didactic materials to learners with impairments so that their educational needs can be met. She added that lesson notes and teaching methods must incorporate learners with impairments because they have right to education like their peers without impairments.
Given that some of the education authorities have been practicing inclusive education, the Principals and Head Teachers present said they have created resource rooms in their schools and carried out awareness to the staff and parents on inclusion. The Delegates, Inspectors, Pedagogic Advisers identified a number of actions which still needs to be done such as partnering with Councils to support leaners with impairments with assistive devices to facilitate teaching and learning, advocate for inclusive infrastructure, introduction of inclusive education in Training Schools amongst others.
One of the facilitators Mr. Tasi George highlighted the role of administrators in formulating inclusive education policy. He decried the fact that there is no clear policy on inclusive education in Cameroon yet, reason why he urged the participants to contribute in the creation of the policy by advocating for inclusive education at each level.
One of the high points of the seminar was presentations from the network of stakeholders of inclusive education created by SEEPD Programme. The presentations showcased how they have been teaching different learners with impairments in their various schools. Beneficiaries of the 500.000fcfa each praised the SEEPD Programme for the support which they said will help them implement inclusive education. These included: Treasured Center, Morning Star Akum, Module Inclusive Mile 6, SAJOCAH Bafut and Council School for the Deaf Batibo.
At the closed of the workshop, the NW Regional Delegates of Basic Education Mr. Wilfred Wambeng charged the over 100 participants to implement the knowledge acquired from the workshop while noting that the Delegations are ready to support them at every level to implement inclusive education. Participants appreciated the SEEPD Programme for the training and pledged to be ambassadors of inclusive education.