Abbas’ story

From isolation to independence; Abbas’ experience in an inclusive classroom

Abbas has weak legs and arms which restrain his mobility. He is deaf in his left ear and has a speech impairment, which makes it difficult for him to articulate words.

Before he started attending primary school, Abbas spent most of his time at home with his mother, Fatihuba. This meant that Fatihuba could not work to support the family. Sense International Tanzania’s Inclusive Education programme supports children with complex disabilities to attend mainstream education with support from Learning Support Assistants.

After learning about the inclusive education programme, Fatihuba enrolled Abbas at the primary school as a first grader. Abbas’ first few months at school were challenging as he struggled to communicate with other children.

Ms. Pendo, Abbas’ Learning Support Assistant, worked with Abbas to develop his communication skills and his confidence. She has also taught Abbas basic arithmetic and colouring.

Now, Abbas can write his numbers, recognise colours and shapes. Abbas’ interaction with other children has flourished, he has made many friends in his class and even has two best friends. Abbas’ attending school has given Fatihuba the opportunity to set up a small business selling homecooked fish.