News / Africa

Campaign to Open School Doors to Disabled Children

Nafisa Baboo, Senior Inclusive Education Advisor for Light For the WorldNafisa Baboo, Senior Inclusive Education Advisor for Light For the World
x
Nafisa Baboo, Senior Inclusive Education Advisor for Light For the World
Nafisa Baboo, Senior Inclusive Education Advisor for Light For the World

Multimedia

Audio
Kim Lewis
The senior education advisor for a confederation of European non-government organizations, Light for the World, maintains that millions of children with disabilities have a right to inclusive education in a regular school. Nafisa Baboo knows what she’s talking about. She is visually impaired and she excelled in her school classes.
 
Global Education Week recently took place during which more than 100 campaigners, advocates and NGOs worldwide spoke up in favor of strengthening learning for all children including those with disabilities, as part of the Global Campaign for Education.
 
 Mainstream education is a basic right
 
Speaking from Capetown, South Africa Baboo says inclusive education is basically a “rights” approach to educating children, where they are included in the mainstream education system.
 
“So what it means is that if you want to create an education system where all children are welcome, regardless of their gender, their race or their abilities,” says Baboo, “we have to create that kind of inclusive education system," she says. 
 
She highlights that barriers to inclusive education should be addressed, along with creating the right conditions that will allow all children to be able to develop both their academic and social capacity to their fullest.
 
She says this can be achieved by educating children without disabilities and those with disabilities in the same classroom together.
 
Baboo is a product of inclusive education. Her father, who is blind, attended a school for the blind and then went on to teach at the school as well.
 
“He really believed that the only way to include a child with a disability - and make sure that they have the capacity to negotiate the real world, and have those life skills - is if they are included in a regular school,” says Baboo.
 
Both Baboo and her brother who has learning disabilities,  attended their regular neighborhood school. 
 
 
Struggling in separate schools
 
“… I didn’t actually think of myself as someone with a disability,” says Baboo. But when she started to apply to attend universities, her father said, “Oh. You should check you have a disability.”
 
She replied, “I don’t think I have a disability.” I mean, it only became clear then because I just thought of the fact that I get a large print, and all of those other accommodations…”
 
While working with children with disabilities, Baboo said she watched many struggle to become a part of their communities. Many grew embarrassed about having to attend a special school, while their siblings and neighbors attend a regular school.
 
“If we want to create a society where everybody belongs, and feels that they are a part of it and are valued, then we need to move towards creating an inclusive education system,” says Baboo.
 
Teachers need to look at each child individually, to find out what their interests are and what their strengths and weaknesses are, she says.
 
“If you see a child in that way, it’s easier to problem-solve around what needs they have,” says Baboo.

You May Like

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid