Malawi Council for the Handicapped (Macoha) representatives are pointing out that access to quality education for children with disabilities will remain a far-fetched dream as most teachers have inadequate knowledge on how to handle children with special needs.
Macoha Rehabilitation Officer Davie Banda said this in Ntchisi at the end of a two-day training for teachers drawn from the district’s primary schools.
“Most of the teachers are not trained on how they can assist or teach children with disabilities when they register in early childhood development centres or in primary schools. We want these teachers to be familiar with disability issues and learn how best they can handle learners with disabilities,” Banda said.
Macoha has so far helped 20 teachers who have gained basic skills on inclusive education, which includes sign language.
Other components are; the alphabet and its use, finger spelling, reading, terminologies commonly used in special needs education, ways of minimising challenges affecting teachers and learners with special needs, identification and management of children with disabilities, removing barriers to learning, development and understanding disability and its categories, appropriate language and inclusive terminologies.
One of the participants, Charles Chikafa said the training has come at a right time.
“This training is of great importance because it will help us deal with challenges which children with disabilities face during classes. We will be able to handle learners with disabilities and those with special needs using the skills imparted to us,” Chikafa said.