Improving Special Education in the Longido region
Longido District / Engarenaibor area
Near the Kenyan border lies a cluster of small villages. This area has 8 comprehensive schools with 2400 pupils. The region has suffered from drought for almost four years. Its main income from cattle is seriously affected and the human population is undernourished. During our first visit we were informed that the schools have no children with special needs. However, it is estimated that the region has approximately 100 disabled children, but that none of them attend school.
Further research revealed that the schools lack both the know-how and equipment to provide education for the disabled. When we asked teachers whether they would like to receive further specialist training, they were most excited at the prospect. As a result, 16 teachers are now learning sign language skills. IT training will start as soon as we are able to obtain the necessary equipment and power supply to the schools.
The Ngoswak School Meals Project
Ngoswak School is one of the Engarenaibor area schools. When the project started in 2017 the school had appx. 350 pupils. The size of teaching units is between 60 and 90 pupils. There is no running water and sanitary conditions are very basic. No food was available for pupils during school days. This situation reflected the general lack of wellbeing within the community. The drought has driven some adults into towns and cattle has been lost.
Disabled children in Ngoswak are in the most unfavourable situation. Their daily job is to somehow find food for themselves. This prevents them from attending school, although otherwise they could well do so. The motivation to attend school is further compromised because schools have no provision of sign language for the deaf. It is difficult to learn without communication.
The principal and second teacher at the school are fully committed to receiving further training. Together we agreed to find a speedy solution to the main problem: to obtain funding for school meals and with help from the villagers We started serving regular school meals during 2018-2019. As a result, the amount of school’s pupils more than doubled from 350 to over 700, among them about a dozen disabled children.
Through our meals project we have gained insight into how the community embraces the opportunity to ensure that more disabled children attend school. We shall be monitoring regularly and closely the progress and real results of this project. Our goal is to improve the standard of learning and to steer the community’s attitude to become more positive towards disability.
Do you want to know more about maasai people? Read here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maasai_people