Regular Exchange of Knowledge
After gaining four years of experience in the Hosetta Abdullah Memorial Special Needs School project, it was essential to take it to the next level. Our former intern Vera Brunhuber carried out a comprehensive analysis for the further development of the previous school project. The aim was to organize a regular exchange of knowledge between the University of Würzburg and the University of Makeni in Sierra Leone.
Practice-oriented Training for Teachers
The program called “Special Education - Main facts, specific needs and practical basics for teaching all students” took place on the UNIMAK campus in Makeni. The participants included 31 teachers from traditional as well as specialized schools, who were allowed to attend the training free of charge (including accommodation and meals).
Speakers included Markus Bernard, teacher of special education and deputy director of the Graf zu Bentheim School in Würzburg, Andrew Dumbuya, director of St. Joseph's School in Makeni and lecturer at Makeni University, Siddie Kanu, and Samuel DB Sesay, both teachers at St. Joseph's School in Makeni and lecturers at Makeni University, and special education teacher Michel Chab, who previously worked for the association at the Hosetta Abdullah Memorial Special Needs School.
The theoretical theme was continuously linked to live cases from the classes of the participating teachers. This method simplified the practical application of the theory. The topics covered ranged from epilepsy to autism, developmental disorders and learning disabilities. To give additional motivation, a visit to the St. Joseph School for the hearing impaired was organized. At the end of the training, the teachers expressed their thanks for the new perspectives and approaches as well as for imparting the well-founded knowledge.
Successful Summer School 2019
In summer 2019, the "Summer School" in the area of the educational partnership between the universities of Würzburg and Makeni ended successfully. The aim of the two-week program was to disseminate special needs pedagogy, and to transport its understandings to non-inclusive educational institutions in order to ensure that people with disabilities are taught inclusively. The association did not only coordinate all parties involved in the program, but also took care of the costs for the training measures. The program continues in 2020.
Summer School 2020, 2021 and 2022
The second implementation of the Summer School of our educational partnership was planned for August 2020 at the University of Makeni. Two potential candidates as lecturers have already been identified through the University of Würzburg. However, the implementation of the event depends on the development of the Covid-19 pandemic. The current situation in Sierra Leone is also delaying and hindering the planned networking of current course participants. Planning for the curriculum of the next Summer School continues unabated. In discussions with the University of Makeni team, plans for the Summer School curriculum and an "advanced" course for Spring 2022 were also discussed.