Participants include school principals, deputy principals, inclusive education teachers and mainstream teachers. Photo: MoET

The Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) in Vanuatu is committed to promoting inclusive education, ensuring the country’s education system caters for students with a disability.

The MoET successfully partnered with the Government of Australia to deliver two productive half-day workshops on Tuesday 17 October and Wednesday 18 October 2023, in Port Vila.

“Thirty-one participants attended the sessions, including school principals, deputy principals, inclusive education teachers, mainstream teachers, representatives from Peace Corp, School of Education, Global Partnership for Education and MoET support officers,” the Ministry stated.

The workshops will make a major contribution to ensuring Vanuatu’s education system caters for students with disabilities, such as children who are hard of hearing, who have reduced mobility or have a learning or cognitive disability and so forth.

The workshops marked the final evaluation of six inclusive education resources that were piloted in 15 SHEFA model inclusion schools since 2022. The comprehensive resources encompass a quick reference disability identification tool, a disability inclusive teaching guide, an individual education plan, a student behaviour support plan, inclusive literacy resources, and parent fact sheets.

The workshop was facilitated by Dr Joanne Mosen, the Vanuatu Education Support Program’s Disability Inclusion Adviser, Ms Sylvia Boesen, the MoET’s Inclusive Education Coordinator, and Ms Sonia Wasi, the Vanuatu Education Support Program’s Gender Equality, Disability, and Social Inclusion Senior Officer.

The workshop’s objective was to finalise the updated inclusive education resources after the mid-point evaluation conducted in July 2023.

Participants greatly appreciated the resources for their clarity, simplicity, and ease of understanding. A Year-6 teacher at Saint Joseph School said, “Thirty students used to face barriers in reading during the first term. Thanks to the resources, all of them can now read proficiently. I am very impressed!”

A Year-1 teacher found the materials extremely useful. With admirable dedication, the teacher was fully committed to applying the updated materials and ensured every student in his class could write perfectly after just three months of focused practice.

“These successes highlight the importance of using the updated inclusive education materials to teach reading and writing and leave no child behind, whether with or without disability,” the MoET stated.

“The workshops empowered participants to effectively use the inclusive education resources, which will be expanded to more schools in the coming years.

“They enable teachers to identify children with disabilities, provide support using the teaching guide’s strategies, tailor individual education plans for students with learning disability, and utilise inclusive literacy materials to help students overcome their barriers reading and writing.

“Additionally, the parent fact sheets inform parents about the various types of disabilities and how to support their children with learning challenges.”

Feedback and insights gathered during the workshops will be incorporated into the resources.

A final version of the inclusive education resources is slated for launch in December 2023.

To ensure widespread dissemination and effective utilisation, the MoET will conduct extensive training sessions at provincial levels throughout 2024.

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SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST