World Teachers’ Day: Giving Thanks to Teachers Who Support Inclusive Education

Stories | September 30, 2021

When we think back to our time in Primary or Secondary school, how much of what we experienced was influenced by a certain teacher?

Most of us will still be able to recall our favourite teacher – the teacher who made learning enjoyable. To celebrate the quality of teachers around the globe, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) marks October 5 as World Teachers’ Day.

With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goal 4, which ensures inclusive and equitable quality education and promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all, the day also provides an opportunity to reflect on challenges teachers and the education sector face around the world and to find solutions for and promote a system that ‘leaves no one behind’, including children with disabilities. 

To ensure that children and youth with disabilities have access to quality education, CBM has been working with partners in the Philippines to support disability inclusion in mainstream schools. The project has trained teachers in inclusive education, provided teachers with educational material, and built accessible toilets in schools.

Maricris, a Special Education Teacher at an elementary school, recalls how she used to struggle to teach children with disabilities, “At first, it was very hard for me to handle children with special needs because I was not fully equipped with knowledge and skills at that time and I don’t have enough educational materials to be used that’s suitable to the needs of these children.”

In 2016, Maricris was invited to participate in a training program on disability-inclusive education, classroom management, and a transition program for children with disabilities. She also attended the International Training on Inclusive Education in Manila, which she says was “a great help on my part in my journey as a special education teacher.”

Through the training, Maricris was able to develop a better understanding of how to work with students with disabilities. Her knowledge of and skills in delivering inclusive education improved, and as a result, so too did the quality of her teaching. “[The training] helped me a lot to improve myself in the different teaching strategies,” says Maricris.
Often teaching her students on the weekends at their homes, Maricris is a dedicated teacher that is committed to making a difference in her students’ lives through education. When thinking about what her students mean to her, she says, “They already have a place inside me; I can’t just ignore them… I’ll be there for the children, ready to be involved with their lives.”

CBM acknowledges the support of the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

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