Pilot project is aimed at helping schools integrate special needs pupils into mainstream classrooms.
Special needs pilot project in Al Gharbia
Teachers in Abu Dhabi's Western Region have been taking part in a pilot project aimed at helping schools integrate special needs pupils into mainstream classrooms.
The research project was one of 12 run by the British education charity, the Centre for British Teachers (CfBT), in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Education Council.
Dymphna de Siun, an adviser on special education needs with CfBT, worked with two female teachers from Al Shatha Kindergarten in Al Gharbia to teach six pupils from the Zayed Centre for Disabilities in mainstream classes.
"We looked at the attitudes to integration, what systems need to be in place for future integration projects, and we also looked at the existing challenges to integrating children into a mainstream kindergarten," said Mrs de Siun, who added that several other teachers also helped in the project. "The teachers learnt a lot about teaching and learning. The children also learnt an awful lot about each other."
But there were problems, especially overcrowded classrooms. The kindergarten also lacked ramps, disabled toilets, and accessible gym equipment.
* Zaineb Al Hassani