It is estimated that between 93 million and 150 million children live with a disability worldwide. The World Health Organisation and the World Bank found that “being disabled more than doubles the chance of never enrolling in school”.
The introduction of Ghana’s Inclusive Education Policy in 2015 set out the government’s strategy for supporting the education of all children with special educational needs.
Sabre’s vision is to help all children succeed by giving them the best possible early education. Therefore, promoting inclusive education through our teacher training work is a crucial part of what we do. In order to further our knowledge as on organisation on inclusive education two of Sabre’s staff were given the opportunity to attend a workshop on the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) last year.
Ghana adopted the UDL to help conceptualise its Inclusive Education Policy. The UDL framework ensures that children who have special needs are taken care of in education and have an equal opportunity to succeed at school. The biggest takeaway from the workshop that we took is the variety of teaching methods the UDL sets out that suit different children with different needs. Inclusive education is all about being flexible.
Learning more about the UDL has really inspired us to continue to prioritise our inclusivity work, as whilst the introduction of Ghana’s Inclusive Education Policy, guided by the UDL, has helped to make great strides towards realising truly inclusive education in Ghana there is still work to be done to ensure that all children have the chance to learn together.
As a result of the learning made at the workshop we have encouraged teachers to consider how they can adapt activities to meet the needs of learners who may have special educational needs. We are also preparing training content for teachers highlighting ways in which they can make sure they meet the needs of all children in their class and techniques teachers can use to make their lessons more inclusive.
Our plans to strengthen inclusivity in the schools that we work with do not stop there. We have plans to organise visits for Sabre staff to special needs schools to further our own knowledge. We hope that these visits will also help to support a review of the language of our training content and training resources to ensure that it better reflects inclusiveness. As always, our partnership with the Ghana Education Service will be key in promoting inclusive education. We will now make sure to involve all district Special Education Coordinators in future trainings.
Using this new knowledge of the UDL the whole Sabre team is excited to push forward our strategy for inclusive education, helping us to realise our vision of a quality early years education for all children in Ghana.