The Special Needs Inclusive Project under that CCAP Synod of Livingstonia – Education Department was launched in Nkhota Kota North on 18th August, 2016. Present at the launch was the Deputy General Secretary of the CCAP Synod of Livingstonia, Rev J.P.V. Mwale and the Executive Director of the Education Department – CCAP Synod of Livingstonia.
Special Needs education exits to promote equal access to education regardless of disability in Malawi. With a funding of £ 593,895 from Comic Relief through SIGNAL, Special Needs Education section implements an inclusive education project in Kasungu and Nkhotakota districts. This is a five year project from the year 2016 to 2021 which aims at promoting equal access to education through community empowerment. In Kasungu, the project works in four traditional authorities of Chulu, Kaluluma, Simulemba and Tisemphere targeting 7 education zones with a total of 98 primary schools and 16 Secondary Schools while in Nkhotakota district, the project operates in the two traditional authorities of Kanyenda and Kafuzila with a total of 7 education zones targeting 58 primary schools and 10 Secondary Schools. The project in both districts of Kasungu and Nkhotakota works with a total population of 109,466 learners in Primary Schools including learners with disabilities.
In order to promote inclusive education through community education in Kasungu and Nkhotakota, the project has a number of activities including:
• Baseline survey to establish a benchmark of learners with disabilities alongside knowledge, attitude and practice in Kasungu and Nkhotakota.
• Awareness trainings to Parents, Learners, School Governance groups (SMC, PTA, MG) and Teachers on the status of SNE learners so that parents, communities and civil society organisations are actively engaged in strengthening education inclusively with quality.
• In Service trainings to teachers in the 156 Primary Schools and 26 Secondary Schools.
• Continuous Professional Development (CPD) trainings on Inclusive Education for teachers in Schools
• Formulation of parent support groups in order to bring changes in parental capacities to support their children
• Group Dynamics and Leadership training to Parents of SNE Learners
• Lobby and advocacy sessions to Local Government Structures so that Systems are more inclusive and responsive to disadvantaged groups that is changes in policies, strategies, plans, procedures, processes, data, resources etc. at: National level , District level, Zone and School level).
The project envisages at the end and during implementation to attain the outcomes including:
• Equal access to education for all learners
• Minimize any physical and attitudinal barriers towards the education of learners with special education needs
• A positive and informed attitude towards understanding disability and promoting value for education for all children
• Increased capacity of mainstream teachers in inclusive education
• A Quality Learning Environment for all learners through quality of teaching, peer to peer interaction of learners and school structure/community involvement.