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Unganisha Elimisha

September 2017 VETA Workshop

Unganisha Elimisha


During the Workshop’s fourth day attendees visited children at the Kaloleni Makumbusho School. Here, in groups of three or four, they met select students whom they analyzed according to the IEP form’s fields and then wrote a report. Teachers were also able to work with parents, who are key to successful implementation of IEP strategies. 

Fall 2017 Activity Impact

2017 IEP Workshop

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While Grace Lyimo, Executive Director, completes an official Outcomes Assessment from CA Tanzania’s workshops, seminars and volunteer outreach in 2017, the following developments signify the impact of this fall’s activities.  They represent small steps toward the goal of changing educational attitudes to include and address the autistic and those with other intellectual disabilities:

  • CA Tanzania’s Arusha Seminars have connected local District Special Education Units with private schools to learn about and coordinate their programs.  For example, the Education Officer in the local SIHA District met with a nearby Lutheran Vocational Training Center in the fall, and as a result, four students have now been accepted at the Lutheran Center to receive more appropriate and effective instruction.
  • A Forum to coordinate the work of all NGOS in the special needs educational sector in Arusha has been formed.  Mama Grace is an integral part of this effort to share and synergize programs so as to avoid duplication and work more efficiently to target and lobby for the intellectually disabled student population.
  • Discussions are underway between the Arusha District and Zonal Regional Directors to potentially develop a 10-acre plot as a training institute for children of different disabilities.  CAT is working to promote this project and ensure the inclusion of students with autism in its programs.
  • CA Tanzania helped to facilitate participation of a group of autistic students in this past December’s Tanzanian Special Olympic Games held in Zanzibar.

On September 27th Connects Autism Tanzania gathered educators and professionals in Arusha to discuss the state of vocational training for those with autism and other intellectual disabilities in the Kilimanjaro region, and ways in which Vocational Education Training Authority (VETA) can better serve this population. Among the 44 participants were VETA’s Zonal Director, Arusha’s City Educational Officer and special education teachers.

CA Tanzania’s leadership used the first sessions to revisit the basics of autism, as this condition remains unknown or misunderstood by many in the educational system and society at large. Speakers highlighted specific behaviors associated with autism versus other intellectual conditions, and urged those attending to learn more about the capabilities of this population and prioritize them in educational planning.

Speakers then focused on the critical need to develop vocational training programs for those with autism and other intellectual challenges after the age of 18. Various educators observed that political and structural aspects of the educational system have prevented continuity in addressing those with mental challenges effectively.

On a more positive note, the guest of honor, Arusha District Commissioner, Mr. Fabian Gabriel Daqarro, stated that autism awareness has increased recently and he urged VETA instructors in the Northern Zone to come up with curriculum proposals, learning materials and infrastructures that can help children with different disabilities to access quality education. He emphasized that it is better for such proposals to come from the ground up, rather than wait for action from the central government.

After a review of the legal rights and entitlements of children with disabilities by Ms. Alice Malepu from the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), participants broke into groups to develop specific ACTION plans for skills training initiatives. Among those proposed were more and better trainings for special needs educators and tutors (especially in vocational training colleges), development of tools for identifying those with autism, and campaigns to bolster sensitization about autism and further reduce the stigma. Star Television and Radio Free Africa and other nationally heard media outlets covered the event.T

Following the September 27 VETA trainin, CA Tanzania hosted a weeklong workshop from October 16 to 20 to guide special education teachers and other stakeholders in the use of the IEP – Individualized Education Program – for students with special needs. This Workshop represented CA Tanzania’s mission to raise the level of classroom services offered to these youth.

Attending the workshop were government stakeholders, Education Officers and educators from Makumbusho Primary School for Students with Autism (Special Unit). During the five days, participants were guided through the entire process of IEP use. Speakers explained the purpose of the IEP – an individualized plan of instruction based on a careful assessment of the student. Key components of an effective IEP including (1) coordination of a multidisciplinary team, (2) involvement of parents, and (3) agreement on the objective services and desired outcomes. Participants practiced completing forms so that they could better understand its components.