LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-A special education manager and a professional teacher for children with special needs has hailed government’s plan to introduce special needs education in all national teacher training colleges (TTCs).
Last week, the government announced plans to introduce special needs education in the curriculum of all TTCs after noting a gap in the system and also in trying to push forward the policy of inclusive learning.
Currently, teachers for special needs children are only being trained at Montfort Special Needs Education College in Nguludi, Chiradzulu.
District Coordinator for Special Needs Education in Thyolo District, Alexius Gawani said the introduction of special needs education in government teacher training colleges would increase access to education amongst children with learning disabilities.
“This will help a lot because at first it was just Montfort which was imparting skills to our teachers in the whole of Malawi but this time, as it is being introduced in all colleges, it means special needs education will be everywhere regardless of the teachers who are actually teaching those learners,” said Gawani.
In a separate interview, Ulemu Chimtengo, a special needs teacher at St. Pius X in Blantyre said the move would lessen the burden for current special needs teachers.
“It’s high time the government did this; it (government) has been training teachers for quite a long time but the numbers are not meeting the demand. There are just a few teachers who are actually teaching.
“For example at my school I’m the only me teaching the children and I have to teach from Standard 1 to Standard 8, plus those that need to be taught on their own and those that cannot join others in the regular class,” said Chimtengo.
Currently, teachers who have undergone training in TTCs and wish to specialize in special needs education do so only at Montfort College, while those who do not have minimum qualifications are trained at Magomero Technical Vocational School.