Susan is the head teacher at an inclusive school in the Kalobeyei settlement in Kenya, which is home to many refugee students and their families. To make the school more accessible for students with and without disabilities, Humanity & Inclusion has supported adaptations to the school’s facilities and offered training to staff.
Susan has been a teacher for more than 12 years, starting her career in Sudan. When she left her home country and settled in Kenya, she knew she wanted to continue serving students.
“I love teaching and being with children,” Susan explains. “At first, I didn’t know how to support students with disabilities. But now I’ve had training and I’m more skilled at helping them.”
Inclusive education welcomes all
At the preschool that Susan leads, adaptations have been made to ensure it’s accessible for students with disabilities. New equipment was installed at the playground and accessible restrooms were constructed.
Teachers and staff have also been trained in how best to teach students with disabilities and how to encourage parents of children with disabilities to enroll them in school.
Members of the school committee even visit students at home to make sure they don't miss class.
A supportive community
Susan says the students and broader community are embracing the changes to promote inclusion. On a recent holiday, Susan says students visited her at home, eagerly asking when they could return to the classroom.
“My school is different from other schools,” she explains. “Children with disabilities can access the building and move around without difficulty. Before, attendance numbers were down. Now, students are increasing in number. They love school!”
The preschool in Kalobeyei is part of a pilot project in Kenya to determine the impact of inclusive education on the students, teachers and communities. Humanity & Inclusion teams intend to develop an advocacy plan to be implemented in schools in other communities for years to come.
“Our school is effective,” Susan adds. “But one inclusive school is not enough.”