Advocating for inclusive education :
Advocacy and lobbying for human rights are crucial part of IRD program in refugee camps and urban area in Rwanda. IRD advocate and lobby the local and national decision makers and service providers to fulfill their obligations towards the rights of people with disabilities-holders.
Access to education for refugee children with disabilities
If you want to plan for a year, sow rice.
If you want to plan for a decade, plant trees.
If you want to plan a lifetime, educate people.
Education is one of the most effective ways to break the cycle of discrimination that children with disabilities experience. IRD promotes inclusive education to ensure all children can go to school.
Advocacy in the field of education promotes IRD’s vision in terms of inclusive education. It is a common point for parents, family members, teachers, Education officials, stakeholders, local authorities and the community members who are committed to making inclusive education a reality in our communities.
IRD provides access to education for the most disadvantaged refugees and local children in the community. We work with schools to provide an easy environment for all children, while remaining sensitive to rural communities (Refugee camps) and urban (Kigali City).
What is inclusive education?
Inclusive education consists of designing schools, classes, and developing programs and activities so as to allow all children to learn together in a mainstream school. Therefore, inclusive education is successful when all children study together in a mainstream school based in their area, and in classes corresponding to their ages and receive support to learn, contribute to and participate in all aspects of school life.
Our vision for inclusive education in forced displacement context in Rwanda
Inclusive education implies that all refugee children with and without disabilities are educated in mainstream classes together with their age mates. However, a child may need personal assistance in a particular subject. In mainstream classes, equal opportunities are provided to all children to learn together, even if some may have different educational needs. An inclusive education system does not allow any separation of the children within a mainstream class.
Questions and answers concerning inclusion
Why is inclusive education important?
Inclusive education helps us give value to our diverse communities. These communities begin at home and continue at school, where all children study together and learn how to live together with their fellow pupils. They learn, play and grow up together and are educated together.
Does inclusive education concern every child?
The simple answer is YES. However, due to special needs, some children need to spend some time outside the mainstream classroom for special purposes; this is but an EXCEPTION.
How can I make my community school more inclusive?
Ask your school principal what is being done to support teachers to include children with diverse needs in the mainstream classroom.
What are my expectations?
You can expect that the school provide a plan to support teachers and children in the best inclusion practices, including collaboration, teamwork, innovative teaching practice, strategies involving peers’ contribution.
What are the advantages of educational inclusion?
All children benefit from inclusive education. This allows them to:
- develop strength and talents, having high and appropriate expectations for each child;
- work on individual needs while a child participates in class life with other children of his/her age;
- involve the parents of children in their education and activities of their local schools;
- promote a school culture of respect and belonging: inclusive education provides opportunities to learn about individual differences and accept them, reducing the consequences of harassment and intimidation;
- develop friendships with many different children, each with their abilities and needs;
- have a positive influence on their school and the community while promoting diversity and inclusion to a broader level.
What are useful measures for inclusive education?
- To accept all children in the mainstream classes and in the life of the school;
- To provide all necessary support to children, teachers and the classrooms;
- To identify what each child can do, but not what they cannot do;
- To restructure schools and classrooms so as to enable children to achieve their potential;
- To have the school principals and school administrators demonstrate a strong leadership;
- To ensure that teachers know different ways of teaching and learning so that children with the skills and strengths that vary can learn together;
- To have the school principals, teachers, parents and children and other people work in collaboration in order to determine the most effective ways to provide quality education in an inclusive environment;
- To consider dreams and goals that parents have for the future of their children.