Alexandrine returns to school
Alexandrine is 10 years old and lives in the village of Ambodivoapaka in Madagascar with her parents and two sisters. She has a hearing impairment and has finally returned to school after a year outside the classroom.
Alexandrine outside her school | © HI
Alexandrine went to school until 2015, but when the monsoon season arrived, her parents had no one to look after her, so they took her out of school. For one year, she worked with them in the fields.
Thanks to Handicap International’s inclusive education project, which consists in promoting the inclusion of children with disabilities in mainstream classes, she was able to return to school in the 2016-2017 academic year. Alexandrine is unable to speak. Her teacher has been trained by HI in inclusive education, but finds it difficult to include her in class activities such as counting, reciting and singing. Nevertheless, her parents have seen a positive change in her behaviour: “We’ve noticed an improvement in Alexandrine since she’s been going to school. Our daughter already knows how to read two-syllable words, write the alphabet and she’s more motivated than before and wants to be a farmer.”
Despite finding it hard to take part in class activities, Alexandrine has made friends, and outside school hours, she plays just like other children of her age.
Handicap International and inclusive education
HI trains teachers in inclusive education. This training gives teachers a better understanding of disability issues and helps them manage the problems experienced by some of their students. It also enables them to put together a Personal Education Plan (PEP) to ensure each child with disabilities is included and monitored. The PEP includes a medical report and the child’s goals and outlines the adjustments required to optimise learning. A summary of the interview is then discussed with the child’s parents.