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World Teachers’ Day – How Sense International’s inclusive education programme supports children with deafblindness in Tanzania

4 October 2020

A young boy sitting next to a woman who is holding a phone to his ear

Today is World Teacher's Day, an annual UNESCO event which celebrates teachers, with this year’s theme being “Teachers: Leading in Crisis, Reimagining the Future.”

To celebrate this day of awareness, Sense International is delighted to share a video produced by the Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF), a UK Aid initiative, which has supported Sense International’s recent inclusive education programme in Tanzania.

Our work on inclusive education has impacted the lives of 163 children with deafblindness/ multi-sensory impairments (MSI) in Tanzania as part of Sense International’s work to ensure all children with deafblindness/ MSI have access to education and can learn, earn and thrive.

Today, on World Teachers’ Day we are celebrating the monumental role teachers and teaching assistants play in achieving inclusive education for all. Join us in celebrating the day by:

1)    Watching and sharing our posts with your friends, colleagues, family and networks. Join the conversation and tag us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

2)    Staying connected and signing up to our monthly e-newsletter.

About the Inclusive Education programme

Sense International’s programme used an innovative two-step model focused on the use of technology in education:

  • Step one - Using a specialist curriculum, children with deafblindness/MSI were prepared for school through home-based education provided by parents/ caregivers and supported by teachers from schools near the child’s home.

  • Step two – Children with deafblindness/MSI transitioned from home to mainstream schools with the support of Teaching Assistants. Parents, teachers and Teaching Assistants were trained in skills for teaching children with deafblindness/MSI in inclusive classrooms.

Parents and caregivers were provided with a tablet computer which was pre-loaded with instructional videos to guide them on how to provide quality support and education to children with complex disabilities.

Teaching assistants played a dynamic role in achieving inclusive education for children with deafblindness/MSI by providing one-on-one education; supporting children to perform daily tasks; carrying out home visits to follow up on progress; and assisting children to get to and from school safely.

A group of children sitting in a classroom whilst their teacher stands next to them

Parents quickly started to see the benefits of the education being provided to their children, attitudes began to shift. Theresia, a girl with complex disabilities, was supported through the project and emerged top of her class during the national standard four examination.

Her father says: “It has been a long race to get here. Our daughter stayed at home with no hope of being enrolled in any school as she was denied admission due to her multi-sensory conditions. She could neither sit nor eat by herself. With support from her teaching assistant, when she turned 13, she was brought by the project to start standard one in primary school. Now we are celebrating her being in standard five, marching forward to fulfilling her dreams of being a lawyer.”

A young boy sitting next to a woman. They're looking at a phone.

With children engaged in school, parents and caregivers found they had more time to attend regular support meetings and to start income generating activities, being empowered both financially and socially.

Read Angel’s journey from home to an inclusive classroom.

Find out more information about Sense International Tanzania. 

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