The Empowerment and Disability Inclusive Development (EDID) Program of the CBC Health Services in partnership with the West Regional Delegation of Secondary Education has trained the second cohort of 50 Teachers and Pedagogic Inspectors on Inclusive Education drawn from Lycee Classique and Lycee Bilingue in Bafoussam. The workshop took place in Bafoussam from February 15 – 17, 2021 under the theme, “Including all Learners in Teaching and Learning Practices”.
This training is part of a sequence that started in November 2020 with the aim of enhancing the capacities of teachers for effective inclusive practices. These trainings fall within the framework of Cameroon National laws, precisely the 2010 law on the protection and promotion of the rights of People with Disabilities.
Fostering Inclusive Education is a priority of the CBC Health Services. Thus, the capacity building workshop was geared towards advancing the technical competence of the teachers and pedagogic inspectors to reform this process. The Government of Cameroon works hard to give equal opportunities in education for all, including those with disabilities.
According to the Inclusive Education Adviser for the CBC Health Services Mrs. Fobuzie Bridget, the training will reduce or eliminate all challenges faced by Teachers and Learners in Inclusive Education. This is because Teacher Training Colleges in Cameroon do not train teachers to include learners with disabilities in their teaching and learning practices. She noted that learners with vision impairment, for instance, do not have learning material in braille nor vision, making it challenging when they have to depend on their sighted peers. The same scenario extends to students with hearing impairment. There are only few sign language practitioners in Cameroon who are unable to teach students in all schools in Cameroon.
Mrs. Fobuzie, a teacher by profession, adds that most teachers in mainstream classrooms are oblivious to the fact that some students have mild to severe intellectual disabilities, emotional and behavioral disabilities.
According to the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), teachers are expected to prepare their lessons taking into consideration vision, auditory and kinesthetic learners and follow all principles of the UDL. By this training, Mrs. Fobuzie said, teachers will be able to achieve this goal. She expressed her conviction that the teachers will implement what they learned, as justified by their participation and the inclusive lessons they produced during exercises.
Participants left the training with much appreciation to the Quality Education for All Initiative, the EDID Program, the CBC Health Services, the Liliane Foundation, and the Regional Delegation for Secondary Education for giving them the opportunity to be opened up to issues of inclusive education. They promised to henceforth act as Ambassadors for Inclusive Education in their respective schools and communities.