Dear Friends,In Tanzania as in many places, the lack of accessible teaching and learning materials for learners with and without disabilities is a common barrier to inclusive and equitable quality education. In schools, access to teaching and learning materials in braille for learners with visual disabilities and in sign language for the Deaf are inputs to opening education for all children, leaving fewer behind.For this reason in June, in partnership with Research Triangle Institute (RTI) under the USAID Jifunze Uelewe (JU) activity, eKitabu held hands-on Teacher Professional Development (TPD) in Tanzania’s Morogoro, Mtwara, and Pemba regions to train 111 teachers in applying Universal Design for Learning principles and utilizing accessible digital content in teaching and learning.
JU works to improve literacy and numeracy for all Tanzanian pre-primary and primary learners.Here is some feedback we received from the workshop:“During the TPD training, I learned key functions of the Orbit Reader 20 device and how to use it to teach learners with visual impairments in my school. I also learned how to transcribe into braille by connecting my computer to a refreshable braille device.” Norah Alexander Mwipopo, a teacher at Changarawe Primary School, Mvomero District.
“Using multiple means of representation in Universal Design for Learning gives learners different ways to access reading materials, and gives them different ways to show us what they are learning.” Abushehe Justine Madeni, a teacher at Mazinyungu Primary School, Kilosa District.A key goal of this project is building teachers’ capacity to make education more inclusive. eKitabu is working with teachers to find and develop inclusive education champions, in Kiswahili “Mabingwa wa Elimu Jumuishi,” and to work with regional education officials for a stronger system in practice.In other news, we have extended the Digital Essay Competition 2022 submission deadline to Friday 26th August to allow as many learners to participate as possible given this year’s changes to the school term. We welcome all learners to submit their essays at essay.eKitabu.com.
The DEC 2022 question is: “Who is your real life hero and why?” There is a hero inside of everyone. My real life hero is that hero, different for each of us, and always available. That hero has infinite potential, and the name of that hero’s journey is learning.After the DEC submission deadline comes the judging process when teachers mark the essays. We will hold the 2022 prizegiving ceremony just as we have always done at the Nairobi International Book Fair in September with scholarship funds, computing devices, and national recognition for winners, finalists, teachers, families and schools.