(Above) Pupils of Christ the King Nursery in Yei, marching during their graduation recently.
Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan (ECSS&S) Bishop Hillary Luate Adeba has asked communities to stop undermining children with disabilities in their struggle to learn.
Bishop Hillary of Yei diocese, who was speaking to teachers during the start of a five-day training on inclusive education, urged for equal treatment of children with disabilities in schools.
“There is no need for us to discourage these people as useless and you begin to call them names,” bishop Luate said.
“You are here as teachers, when you go back to school, tell the other children, not to undermine the existence of children with disabilities, not to embarrass them, not to insult them,” he said.
He said children with disabilities need a lot of psycho-social support to enable them learn with their counterparts in a conducive environment.
Bishop Luate called on teachers to cultivate “a general social spirit of togetherness without discrimination against children with disabilities”.
He added that more capacity building trainings are needed to equip teachers with skills and knowledge on ways of handling people with special needs, including children with disabilities in the schools.
“Our schools must be accessible to people with disabilities,” he emphasised.
Amule Felix, acting minister of education in Yei River State, said the ministry is working with school administrators in schools to come up with preventive messages to discourage stigmatization of children with disabilities.
He said schools administrations should urgently respond to issues of inclusive education and have a recovery strategy to prevent further occurrences of discrimination against children with special needs.
Amule said providing inclusive education in South Sudan will foster observance of laws and regulations, urging for embracing of education as a tool to eradicate illiteracy.
More than 50 teachers drawn from various schools in Yei will undergo the five-day training, expected to end this Friday.
The capacity building workshop, funded by Light for the World, is organized by ECSS&S education and training department.
Teachers will be empowered with skills and knowledge “to enhance learning for children with disabilities in various schools,” said David Luate, one of the facilitators of the workshop.