The Lebanon project is into its second year. MAI is funding two thirds of this pilot project conducted by SKILD (BMS is supporting the other third). The latest report from SKILD is encouraging in several respects.
Firstly, they say: “The project has had a positive influence at school level and the Ministry of Education level. The ministry is planning to hire special educators in 30 schools.” This is a significant breakthrough for inclusion in state education. Only one third of schools in Lebanon are public schools. Normally, parents with good incomes would choose to send their child to a private school. A minority of private schools take inclusion seriously but this Government decision has the possibility of achieving cultural change.
Secondly, they report an increased number of pull-out sessions (times when children with special needs receive intensive coaching from the team). There was a 51% increase in speech and language sessions and an 89% increase in sessions with the special educators.
Lastly they were very pleased that at one of the two pilot schools, teachers requested help to improve their skills through the team modelling good practice. At the other school, 11 teachers attended an hour long awareness session.
We asked some of the professionals that are working in the two schools of this pilot project for their take on how things are going. This video gives their impressions. Just click on the link below: