|Type||Journal Article - Port Vila: Save the Children|
|Title||Factors Which Facilitate and Limit Inclusion of Children with Disability in Kindergarten in Vanuatu: Sample Study, Shefa Province|
The 2012 National Early Childhood Care and Education Baseline Survey identified discrepancies between the perception of teachers and families about the number of children who have a disability and/or who are attending preschool. It surfaced differences in understanding of the term ‘disability’ and the identification of children with disability. These inconsistencies provide the rationale to further investigate the knowledge, attitudes and practices that present obstacles to children with disability accessing kindergarten in Vanuatu.
The study consisted of qualitative and quantitative field-based research using convenience sampling methodology involving 126 semi-structured survey interviews and one focus group analysis discussion workshop. The interviews were conducted between June 14 and June 25 2013 across four locations in Shefa Province: Tongoa (rural), Paugnanisu (rural) Vila North (urban) and Erakor (peri-urban). Survey participants included 64 women, 45 men and 17 children with disability. Interview surveys were undertaken involved seven (7) different respondent groups.
Findings suggest that there are several factors which restrict or promote the participation of children with disability in kindergarten. Specifically, there is limited knowledge and understanding regarding the causes of disability including amongst teachers, community leaders and parents, which can translate into negative attitudes towards disability inclusion. The capacity of teachers and community leaders to understand the benefits and mechanisms of inclusion is required. Access to rehabilitation services is limited and there is need for assistive devices for children. Limited transport options and disability accessible facilities are barriers to children accessing education.
Key recommendations to improve access to education for children with disability have been identified. There is a need to raise awareness of all stakeholders at all levels of the nature and causes of disability and strengthen the capacity of community leaders and members to understand the rights and needs of children with disability. Increased access to rehabilitation services, including early intervention and assistive device services, for children with disability is needed.
Training should be available to kindergarten teachers in understanding the nature and causes of disability, in particular less well understood impairments, such as hearing and communication impairments. Options for supporting transport for children with disability to kindergarten should be found and all new and refurbished kindergarten facilities are built in an accessible way to enable accessibility to people with a range of impairments. Efforts to support inclusive education for children with disability that are in line with the Vanuatu Inclusive Education policy and link Government and non-government stakeholders, including Disabled Persons Organisations should be pursued.
|»||Vanuatu - Population and Housing Census 2009|