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Smartboards and Tablets Help Students with Special Needs in Zambia

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Jul 11 2012, Zambia [ZM], Education

The pupils of a special needs primary school in Kitwe, Zambia will receive tablets and smart boards to help them channel their creativity and stimulate them to work on activities together. The school is one of the few schools in the country with a “Special Needs Unit” for students with disabilities.

The goal of the project which is supported by IICD is to help 125 children of the Rokana Basic School in Kitwe to learn more effectively by using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) such as smartboards and tablets. Some of the students at the school have down syndrome. For these children, it is important to be able to learn by doing. They also love being able to touch, and experience the learning process in a more creative and interactive way. In addition to this, the use of smart boards will also allow other special needs students to communicate and work together as well as interact with each other through creative and playful activities such as singing and painting.

Teachers train teachers

The programme also includes the training of 40 teachers in how to use ICT with special needs children as well as the training of approximately 200 teachers in the use of smart boards. Teachers will be taught by teachers from the IICD-supported Mpelembe Secondary school. These teachers contribute by showing teachers from Rokana how they can use ICT to liven up their lessons by including videos, interactive computer games, and powerpoint presentations in the learning process.

This project has been a vision of the Rokana Basic School principal, Mr. Mwansa who dreamt to furnish one room in the Special Needs Unit with equipment that would open up a whole new virtual world for these children. The room Mr. Mwansa has in mind, as soon as it is equipped with a smartboard and tablet pads, will help the handicapped children at his school to acquire a broad spectrum of skills that will enhance their confidence as they become adolescents. By helping the students with learning disabilities expand their horizons, parents of other children with special needs will be encouraged to overcome cultural stigma and bring their children to school.

This project is part of a fundraising campaign that will tour through the Netherlands this summer.

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