Training teachers to include children with disabilities in mainstream classes
Francia Honoré, a primary school teacher in Madagascar, has attended two training courses organised by Handicap International to promote the teaching of children with disabilities in mainstream classes (inclusive education).
Francia Honoré in front of the state primary school where she teaches | ©Handicap International
Francia Honoré has taught at a state primary school in Ambodimadiro (Madagascar) since 2010. After receiving training from Handicap International in 2014 and 2017, she can now teach pupils from all kinds of backgrounds, including children with difficulties. Her training has also made her more aware of the need to take into account the needs of each of her pupils.
“When I write an exercise on the board, I make sure everyone in my class can see what I’m writing. I tend to write in large letters so that children both with and without visual impairments can see. I do the same for children with hearing impairments. There are measures I can take to ensure they hear everything I’m saying.”
Before her training, Francia Honoré was worried about teaching children with disabilities in her class. She was afraid she didn’t know enough to give them the help they need. But she’s had no problems applying what she learned on her training courses. Some teachers, on the other hand, find it harder to apply an inclusive education approach, particularly to start with.
Today, Francia Honoré is comfortable applying these new practices in her classroom and helps her colleagues do the same: “I make a particular point of helping new teachers organise a refresher course in the first month - it’s a vital part of inclusive education. This course is very important, because it reminds pupils of the basics they learned the previous year, and which they may have forgotten over the holidays. If the teacher misses it out, some pupils can lose their way and slip behind in the school year, and are much more likely to have to retake it.”