How Zanzibar includes children with disabilities in its classrooms | Global Partnership for Education

How Zanzibar includes children with disabilities in its classrooms

Photo story of the week

A wall with the school's mission at the entrance of Kisiwandui primary school in Zanzibar. Credit: GPE/Chantal Rigaud

Kisiwandui Primary School in Zanzibar is embracing inclusion. It welcomes 50 students with various forms of disabilities, both learning and physical challenges.

A painting on the wall in the entrance of Kisiwandui primary school in Zanzibar depicts inclusive education. The school welcomes 50 students with disabilities. Credit: GPE/Chantal Rigaud

The school, through paintings on its walls, portrays children living with disabilities as able contributors and learners, and encourages others to lend a helping hand.

This pre-primary classrom at Kisiwandui primary school in Zanzibar welcomes a student with disabilities. Credit: GPE/Chantal Rigaud

In this pre-primary classroom, learners of all abilities and backgrounds are encouraged to engage together and support each other in the classroom.

A pre-primary classroom at Kisiwandui primary school, Zanzibar. Tanzania, April 2017. Credit: GPE/Chantal Rigaud

The teacher shows the words as she says them and then the students repeat in unison. Zanzibar is working on training its teachers on inclusion and child friendly classroom practices.

A pre-primary classroom at Kisiwandui primary school, Zanzibar. Tanzania, April 2017. Credit: GPE/Chantal Rigaud

The children also look at the corresponding images in their textbooks, whose illustrations are large and visible to those that may have a visual impairment.

In a grade 6 science class, Ali Moussa and Mahmoudou, are committed to learning despite their visual impairment. Credit: GPE/Chantal Rigaud

In a grade 6 science class, Ali Moussa and Mahmoudou, are committed to learning despite their visual impairment (front row)

These small devices are used to record the lessons, so children are able to listen back at home later for their homework. Credit: GPE/Chantal Rigaud

They each have a small device to record the lessons, so they are able to listen back at home later for their homework.

In the front row, two blind students use Braille machines during class. Kisiwandui primary school in Zanzibar. Credit: GPE/Chantal Rigaud

They also have Braille machines to take notes and do exercises. Both learned to use the Braille machine in Grade 3, and before that they were using a slate and stylus to write in Braille.

Ali Moussa reads from his notes. Credit: GPE/Chantal Rigaud

Ali Moussa reads from his notes.

Mahmoudou answers a question about the 5 sense organs during class. Credit: GPE/Chantal Rigaud

The teacher asks Mahmoudou to stand up and answer a question about the 5 sense organs.

Computers purchased thanks to funding from the GPE grant to Zanzibar. Kisiwandui primary school. Credit: GPE/Chantal Rigaud

Kanthar Abdalla Mdid is one of the inclusive education teachers.

Braille machines used to take notes and do exercises. Credit: GPE/Chantal Rigaud

She has been trained to repair the Braille machines when they break down.

Computers purchased thanks to funding from the GPE grant to Zanzibar. Kisiwandui primary school. Credit: GPE/Chantal Rigaud

Through a US$5.2 million grant, GPE supported the government of Zanzibar to make its education system more inclusive and welcome all children in the classroom. At Kisiwandui Primary School, the grant enabled the purchase of useful equipment, such a laptop computers…

A Braille teacher guide, which was provided thanks to a GPE grant to Zanzibar. Credit: GPE/Chantal Rigaud

as well as braille machines and teacher guides in braille.

In this classroom, some students with disabilities receive more personalized attention. Kisiwandui primary school. Tanzania. Credit: GPE/Chantal Rigaud

Some of the children who need additional support sit together in a smaller classroom.

In this classroom, some students with disabilities receive more personalized attention. Kisiwandui primary school. Tanzania, April 2017. Credit: GPE/Chantal Rigaud

This allows individual attention, with the objective to integrate them in regular classrooms when they are ready.

The head teacher (center) and her two deputies in their office. Kisiwandui primary school in Zanzibar Tanzania, April 2017. Credit: GPE/Chantal Rigaud

Mrs. Taifa KH Ahmed (in red with her two assistants) has worked a Kisiwandui since 2010.

A painting on the wall at Kisiwandui primary school shows that the school welcomes students with disabilities. Credit: GPE/Chantal Rigaud

Thank you Kisiwandui Primary School to open your doors to us! GPE is proud to support inclusive education in Zanzibar.

Sub-Saharan Africa: Tanzania

Comments - Join the Conversation

Critical Global Educators

Dear GPE,
Well done, excellent, thank you ...

I am Senior Research Associate at UCL-IoE, London University, and an Associate Lecturer with the Open University, UK

I hope the education systems, teachers, textbooks, policies and practices are in keeping with what I describe in my Routledge 2016 publication, 'The Critical Global Educator: Global Citizenship Education as Sustainable Development'.

I don't need to or mean to sell this book, but am passionate about its message, which after 7 or so years of struggle, was finally granted an Unconditional Pass at London University.

With best wishes for your vision and mission.

Maureen Ellis
Somerset, UK

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