This project – working with children with mental and learning challenges and their teachers in two state schools – is underway in Beirut. Despite the challenging impact of the Syrian conflict, the Government has agreed to the plans of our partner – SKILD – and has already indicated that they would like to see the work extended to other schools! MAI is enabling SKILD to place three specialist educators in the two schools and funding additional supportive resources.
Before Christmas, training was undertaken with the existing teachers in those schools to heighten their awareness of approaches to enabling such students to flourish and become integrated into their appropriate peer group learning environments. A range of assessment and teacher training materials written in Arabic has been created for this special project to work with children with mental and learning challenges. Now, general assessments are being undertaken in the schools with a view to conducting detailed assessments of the needs of some 60 children with the most acute needs.
It is hoped that the two year pilot project will lead to strong evidence of the value of working with such children that can be funded on a large scale by international donors or Lebanese entrepreneurs.