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International Day of Education: Celebrating our achievements

24 January 2020

Young boy sitting on a swing smiling into the camera with a woman crouching behind him, smiling at him

Today is the International Day of Education, a UNESCO awareness day which promotes the role of education for global peace and development. This year, the event celebrates how learning can “empower people, preserve the planet, build shared prosperity and foster peace”.

Everyone has the right to an education. Sense International teams in eight countries around the world work closely with governments to develop school and home-based education programmes so that children with deafblindness can learn and thrive. Today, we’re proud to share some of the highlights from our inclusive education programmes over the last year.

East Africa

In Tanzania, we enabled 100 children with deafblindness to join 78 local schools across the regions of Kilimanjaro and Dar es Salaam, supported by specially trained teaching assistants.

In Uganda we trained women and girls with deafblindness on sexual and reproductive health and rights, which empowered them to speak out against inappropriate behaviour.

In Kenya and Tanzania, we influenced the Ministries of Education to recognise the importance of teaching assistants for children with multi-sensory impairments (MSI). We influenced the Kenyan National Education Sector Strategic Plan 2018 - 2022 and the Tanzanian National Education Sector Plan.

Asia

In Bangladesh, we enabled children with deafblindness to learn at home, supported by visits from specially trained staff, and supported 57 children to join mainstream schools. This followed our successful My Turn to Learn appeal which raised £521,000 for a programme of inclusive education and vocational training in Bangladesh.

In Nepal, we trained 47 teachers from schools in Kathmandu Valley and Kavre districts to identify children with deafblindness and support them in mainstream schools in the future.

Sense International India is supporting learners, schools and teachers across many States, as well as researching the inclusion of children with deafblindness in mainstream schools as part of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (the government’s Education for All initiative).

South America

Sense International Peru supports training for teachers and sensory equipment to enable children with multi-sensory impairment to learn and thrive.

Juan David’s story

One of the people already benefitting from the Sense International’s educational support is Juan David, who is deaf and has Down’s Syndrome and hypotonic, a condition which means he does not have control of his muscles.

Sense International Peru facilitated the training of teachers at his school to better support children with disabilities, as well as equipment for multi-sensory rooms.

Juan David has developed physically and cognitively. The multi-sensory room is one of his favourite spaces in school and his teachers take advantage of the lights and materials in the room to stimulate and expand his senses.

His mother Gloria says: "I am very grateful to the teachers who work very hard and have stimulated him by teaching little by little and learning to work with him. I am very grateful for all his progress which is due to the school.”

Send My Friend to School campaign

Sense International supports the Send My Friend to School campaign ‘Right Climate to Learn’ which launched this month and brings together young people, politicians, teachers, civil society and the media.

They are calling on the UK Government to seize the opportunity it has in 2020, as host of the Conference of the Parties on the UN Climate Convention (COP26), to take decisive action to stop climate change undermining the right to education and strengthen education’s role in the global climate response.

Find out more about Sense International’s work.

First published: Tuesday 18 June 2013
Last updated: Friday 6 December 2019