By Felicia Carty; Edited by Leanna Cappiello
One Kindergarten school in the Samtskhe Javakheti community has integrated children with disabilities into the classroom, thanks to World Vision teacher training.
The school caters to 149 children between the ages of two and six, almost all of whom are sponsored children. About four children in the group have disabilities.
The Landscape of Special Education
It’s typical for children with disabilities to be treated unjustly in Georgia; some are even met with hostility. Inclusive education aims to break down these prejudices and show teachers, parents and peers better ways of caring for children with special needs.
“We have an inclusive education teacher who is working specially with children with special needs. We also have a speech therapist who has received additional training from World Vision,” says Keto, the head Kindergarten teacher.
What Teachers are Doing
Lali, an inclusive education specialist, was offered training on special needs children by World Vision. Lali was interested in learning new methods on how to better care for students with disabilities. Among her key learnings, she also kept a journal, documenting each child’s progress and featuring examples of the child’s work. She kept her focus to attentive one-on-one time with each student, with child development as the main focus.
Dignity of Children with Disablities
One of Lali’s students, Andranik, first came to the school, he was constantly restless and very aggressive. Lali worked closely with Andranik, and with time and patience, has seen much improvement in his behaviour. Andranik now plays and interacts peacefully with the other children. Lali credits the inclusive teacher training, which granted her new resources and a fresh perspective on the dignity of children with disabilities.
In addition to teacher training, World Vision assisted with some constructional improvements on the classrooms, like fencing around the playground and proper window grout, to ensure Kindergarteners feel warm, safe and dry. Educational resources were also provided: books, toys, chairs, carpet and book shelves.
Now, the classroom has a slight Montessori influence, allowing each child to choose their task and activity for the day.
“For the children, the environment is better,” Keto says.
Supply a classroom and help children flourish in school.