SAFOD Trains ECDE Facilitators on Early Identification of CWDs
11 April, 2016
From 11th to 12th April 2016, the Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD) organized a training workshop at Holiday Inn, Johannesburg, South Africa, for its ECDE facilitators as part of the “Building DPOs’ Capacity in Promoting Inclusion in Early Childhood Development and Education within CBR Programs in Southern Africa” project.
Funded by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA), the project is focused on promoting Inclusion in ECDE [Early Childhood Development and Education] within the CBR [Community-based Rehabilitation] programs in Angola, Mozambique, Lesotho and Zambia. One of the components of the ECDE project was the development of Standard Tools/Manual of Early Childhood Identification in Communities.
The workshop sought to train the ECDE facilitators representation SAFOD’s national affiliates from the four countries so that they become Trainers of Trainers when they go back into their communities. It also sought to validate the manual that had just been developed by SAFOD’s consultant, Mr. Wamundila Waliuya, which is being used throughout the implementation of the project, par6icualrly in conducting a series of community orientation/training sessions for caregivers, parents and other strategic community members by the trained DPOs’ representatives together with government instructors.
Speaking during at the beginning of the workshop, SAFOD Director General, Mr. Mussa Chiwaula, reiterated that there was a strong correlation between CBR and inclusive ECDE, yet nothing in this context had been done to link the two.
“As we all know, CBR has important component on Education, but the emphasis is has always been quality primary education, but not much at ECDE level. This should probably be the first project of this nature in Southern Africa, and as SAFOD we are proud to be associated with it,” he said.
He added that that the success of the project would ultimately motivate other DPOs as well other stakeholders to start putting ECDE for children with disabilities on the top of the education agenda that require consideration.
Among other things, the project sought to enhance early identification at community level for children with special needs through inclusive CBR interventions; to build the capacity of SAFOD’s affiliate DPOs already working in CBR programs to strategically link CBR and inclusive ECDE interventions within target communities; and to strengthen community support services for ECDE programs through CBR interventions that were inclusive of children with disabilities.
Besides the training of trainers (TOT) workshop, the full list key activities of the project included conducting a series of sensitization sessions of strategic community members on identification of disabilities and registration; developing standard tools of early childhood identification in communities; developing a manual on “ECDE and Disability” which would incorporate issues and guidelines of early identification and interventions in the context of children with disabilities; conducting a series of community orientation/training sessions for caregivers, parents and other strategic community members by the trained DPOs’ representatives together with government instructors; and develop tailor-made teaching and learning aids, mobility, and other accessories for children with special needs by target communities.
Some of the topics included in the manual that was presented and analyzed during the training were concepts of Inclusive Education and CBR; guidelines of early identification and interventions in the context of children with disabilities; methods for carrying out early identification and intervention; guidelines on community participation in the identification of children with disabilities; the role of CBR in enhancing access of children with disabilities into quality ECDE; entry processes of an ECDE into a CBR programme; and a number of case studies to enhance learning.
In his closing speech, Mr. Chiwaula commended the work that had been done by Mr. Waliuya in developing a very resourceful ECDE Manual that the ECDE trained facilitators would be using as the blueprint throughout the project.
Said Mr. Chiwaula: “As you can see therefore, you, the lucky facilitators of ECDE that have been selected and have gathered here, have a very important work to do from today until the close of the project. This training will definitely go a long way moulding you to become not only effective facilitators but also champions and advocates of quality education for learners with disabilities at all levels, including at ECDE levels.”