By Nemkul Frida
Edited by Njoka Divine
Teachers of the pilot schools of the Sustainable Inclusive Education Project (SIEP) of the CBC Health Services and Education Departments have been christened Ambassadors of the SIEP. They were called upon to help others catch the vision of Inclusive Education during a three-day workshop organized to get them abreast with inclusive education.
The Workshop which started on June 6, 2018 at the Alliance Française for the first two days ended at the Baptist Centre Hall on June 9, 2018. The workshop brought together teachers of the CBC Schools Complex Nkwen and Mankon, Baptist Comprehensive High School Njinikejem, and the CBC Schools Complex Ndop.
After equipping the Administrators of the pilot schools, it was then the turn for the teachers to get themselves acquainted with inclusive education which will hence be a part of the teaching and learning process in the SIEP pilot schools.
Opening the three-day workshop that marked the transition from integration to inclusion in institutions of CBC, the Project Director and CBC Education Secretary (ES), Mr. Nyanganji Job Indi introduced the Management team of the project and gave a brief history on how the project was conceived. The ES revealed that the initiative came about when the four classrooms structure at the CBC Primary School Nkwen was burnt down and that he together with stakeholders of the institution were looking for ways to reconstruct the building.
“When I took a look at the Sustainable Development Goals and discovered one of them was on Inclusive Education and after consulting one or two persons, we came up with a project for the Education Department on Sustainable Inclusive Education.”
“I first turned to Mr. Awa Jacques Chirac who is the Manager of the Socio-Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disability (SEEPD) programme of the CBC Health Services who bought the vision and we worked together tirelessly for days and the project was finally submitted and approved for funding by the Liliane Foundation in the Netherlands,” Narrated the Education Secretary.
He stressed the need for participants to understand that they have the responsibility to put into practice all it takes to ensure that Sustainable Inclusive Education is effectively practiced in CBC Schools. The three-day workshop was thus meant for serious business with highly competent resource persons in the business of Inclusive Education.
The teachers of the pilot schools of the SIEP have resolved to adopt better teaching strategies in order to meet the needs of all learners. The teachers who were participants at the training were drilled on models of disability by Mr. Awa Jacques Chirac, SEEPD Programme Manager, and SIEP Project Adviser.
“Impairments are problems in the human body like visual or hearing impairments, meanwhile disabilities are created by human beings through their attitudes and actions towards persons with impairments,” emphasized Mr. Awa.
On their part, Mr. Che Manaseh and Mrs. Bridget Longla Fobuzie taught participants on some other modules. While Mr. Che educated the participants on the causes of impairments, sign language, and differentiation, Mrs. Fobuzie dwelled on inclusion versus integration, models of education, how to identify learners with impairments, the importance of Inclusive Education, and learning styles.
In addition, Mrs. Bridget together with Mr. Tangu Martin, Coordinator of the Resource Centre, at Government Bilingual High School (GBHS) Bamenda also taught participants universal design for learning: Principles and practices, inclusive assessment and evaluation, an overview of current teaching and learning practices as well as planning and designing lessons.
Mr. Sama Chick, Mrs. Mbah Eleanor and Mr. Kenchi Joseph, also had exciting presentations on visual impairment and classroom implications. During their presentations, participants had to wear simulation glasses, an exercise which Mr. Kenchi Joseph, Supervisor of the Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) program, explained was necessary for teachers to understand how the students feel in their situations.
“The idea is for the teachers to ‘wear the shoes’ of Children with hearing impairment so as to know how they feel in their different conditions and understand better how to assist them to study well in a classroom situation,” explained Mr. Kenchi.
He also taught participants the importance of early identification and referrals, while Mrs. Nsono Josephine presented on Child safeguarding and protection.
SIEP Project Officer and Pedagogic Adviser for Secondary Education of the CBC, Dr. Atanga Naphthalin coordinated the workshop. He thanked the participants for their hard work as expressed in the appraisals from two participants on behalf of the others.
The participants expressed their happiness to have been part of the workshop that exposed many of their shortcomings. They resolved to accommodate every learner in class and to put into practice all that they have learned so as to improve on their teaching methods.
Henceforth, the CBC Nursery and Primary School Nkwen, Baptist Comprehensive High School Nkwen, Baptist Comprehensive High School Njinikejem, the CBC Nursery and Primary School Bamuka Ndop and the Baptist Teacher Training College Ndop will be offering Sustainable Inclusive Education as Pilot Schools of the SIEP. The 3-year pilot phase of the project runs from January 2018 to December 2020.