The HumQadam Foundation (HQF) endeavours to promote inclusion of children with disabilities, by providing one-on-one resource teachers to accompany them into mainstream classrooms.
A 6 – part series of workshops was led and successfully completed at HQF by Nida Alavi from TRC between December 2008 and May 2009. The workshop series focused on assisting HQF’s resource teachers with issues identified by them during an informal needs’ assessment discussion. These areas of concern then became the focus areas for the 6 sessions held at HQF. Focus areas included the state of special education in Pakistan, collaboration between classroom teachers and resource teachers, designing assessment and instruction, managing behaviour, supporting social skills as well as promoting joint attention in children with disabilities.
Early in the series, in the spirit of affecting more sustainable change, an additional dialogue was planned and facilitated on 5 January 2009 between HQF’s resource teachers and the pre-primary/primary teachers of The Learning Tree school where several children with disabilities are enrolled through HQF. Being the first conversation of its kind, after some initial hesitation, the teachers opened up and shared their views and concerns. Mutual issues as highlighted by HQF and the administration of The Learning Tree were addressed too. As a result, change has already come with honest follow-through from all the teachers on the troubleshooting strategies shared during the dialogue. We applaud them for their efforts and hope such dialogue continues to improve the educational experiences of children with disabilities in their care.
Throughout the series at HQF, its teachers were interactive in sharing their experiences and also receptive to recommendations for enhancing the support their students with disabilities are receiving. Being the first step in HQF’s partnership with TRC, we hope that this promising collaboration is extended further in even more directions towards enhancing the quality of special education in Pakistan.