By Fru Rita Ngum
The use of enrollment registers to capture detailed information about disability inclusion will become a reality this academic year in some 30 schools in Mezam Division, Northwest Region. This follows collaborative efforts of the schools that make up the Northwest Regional Inclusive Education Community of Practice – an initiative of the Empowerment and Disability Inclusive Development (EDID) Program.
A one-day capacity building workshop organized by the EDID Program with funding from Lilian Funds held recently to train representatives from the 30 Inclusive Schools on the use of the enrollment registers. The workshop came a week ahead of the 2022/2023 Academic year school resumption as part of strategies to foster inclusive education in the schools.
Speaking at the start of the workshop, the Coordinator of the Service of Persons with Disabilities, Mr. Awa Jacques Chirac informed the School Heads that with support from the World Bank, efforts are currently being made at the level of government to institute an Education Management Information System (EMIS) and that government is requesting civil society organizations to contribute to the development of the EMIS by suggesting indicators that would capture disability inclusion. The putting in place of the new enrollment register is a step towards testing an EMIS at local level with the schools of the Community of Practice and making suggestions on the disability inclusion indicators that should be added to national education data base system. He noted that it is always a privilege to be part of the pilot phase of every initiative; reason why he entreated the teachers to give maximum attention to understating the structure and use of the enrollment register in order to capture the needed data at the level of their schools.
According to the Project Coordinator of the Northwest Regional Inclusive Education Community of Practice. Mr. Ndintek Kennedy, the current process of collecting data from the Inclusive Schools is not uniform; reason why the workshop’s objective was to train representatives of the Inclusive Schools on a harmonized data collection process to have the quality of data which will be useful in informing education authorities in making the right inclusion related decisions.
The M & E Officer of the EDID Program, Mr. Nfon Godwill, who developed the new enrollment register, noted that the register will be useful in collecting general information for each student registered in the schools. He added that the register captures all the existing information in the current registers of schools such as name, age, sex, month, date of birth, and also captures inclusion disaggregated data as inspired by the Washington Group Short Set of Questions (WGSSQ), which is a tool for assessing functional disabilities in people. The enrollment register has been automated for easy use and customized in a way that, if properly used, the captured features will provide information that will guide the teachers on the status of each learner in their classroom.
The School Heads at the workshop applauded the new register, which they said, will be very useful in capturing the kinds of data to inform innovative teaching techniques in their schools. Drawing from their experiences, the School Heads made inputs to the register, which Mr. Nfon noted and promised to effect updates to the register ahead of formalization and final use.
At the close of the workshop, the CBC Health Services Education Advisor, Mrs. Fobuzie Bridget appreciated the schools for their interest and commitment to ensuring that inclusive education becomes a reality. She said the CBC Health Services will not relent in its effort in ensuring that they have the right capacity to foster inclusive education in their schools as more workshops will be organized in the days ahead.