Patrick was born with a physical disability. The confines of traditional public schools made it difficult for him to surpass his goals in the classroom and reach his full potential on the football field. He was not able to balance academics and sports, and missed some remedial classes as a result.
The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on schools
The COVID-19 pandemic forced most schools to close and have students remain at home. In order for children to continue their studies, it was crucial to help schools adapt to the situation.
With a vision of enabling learners with disabilities and young people to continue their education, HI and its partners significantly expanded access to e-learning and training for refugees and host communities in Kakuma and Kalobeyei. The organization also strengthened capacities for digital learning to be integrated in teaching and classes once schools re-opened.
Providing more accessible learning
Ekitabu, a digital learning platform, has helped Patrick keep up with his classes. He is now confident in his ability to excel at school in addition to his love for football, and is relieved to have fewer physical barriers.
“The ability to complete work from anywhere and learn at my own pace has reduced the pressure of having to carry books to and from home every morning,” says Patrick.
Digital lessons at Patrick’s school are offered at scheduled times. There are also storytelling sessions and audio material available on the platform. According to Lilian, a teacher at Patrick’s school, the introduction of digital learning has helped children with visual, intellectual, physical and complex disabilities find learning fun. They now have access to tablets and can get adapted materials installed for them.
“With the introduction of digital lessons by HI in our school, I am now able to find flexibility between classwork and games,” says Patrick. “I like having access to digital content I never knew existed, to help me excel in my education.’’
To create truly transformative education systems and ensure the right to education for all, barriers that exclude vulnerable groups must be eliminated – including those affecting children with disabilities.