Access to quality education and educational support for girls and boys with handicaps in Indonesia
Partner: Handicap International
Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB) province is one of the poorest in Indonesia. Huge disparities exist in the way handicapped children are cared for, particularly with regard to their education. They face triple discrimination: social stigmatization because of their handicap, discrimination due to their gender, and exclusion due to the fact that education for girls is not seen as a priority; educating handicapped girls is considered less worthwhile thus reinforcing their marginalization. It can be said that:
- Handicapped children are systematically excluded, particularly girls who are already somewhat marginalized within their families.
- These girls are subject to moral and physical prejudice which puts them in an even more vulnerable situation.
- There is a lack of understanding on behalf of their parents and acceptance by their teachers; this perpetuates an overall lack of interest in educating handicapped children, particularly girls who are already under-represented in the classroom. The numbers show a flagrant discrepancy between the percentage of handicapped boys who attend school versus that of girls, which is at 40% (source 2011 HI. Inclusive Education Project NTB).
- A lack of self-confidence and self-esteem in handicapped boys and girls can put them at risk of becoming victims of violence and abuse. According to UNICEF, children who are denied access to quality education are at a greater risk of illness, exploitation and mistreatment.
With $100,000 in financial support from 60 million girls, this project, which was to end in 2012, will expand into three sub-districts: Batu Lavar, Jonggat and Narmada. It aims to send 398 handicapped children, 200 of which are girls, to school, to encourage them to stay in school and succeed.
- Identification and registration of handicapped children who are not currently in school in the districts of Batu Lavar, Jonggat and Narmada. Three identification processes will be held in the three sub-districts. Based on experience from 2011, the researchers will be recruited and supported during the data collection in the villages (there are approximately 10 villages per sub-district). This will be done with the cooperation of the local village authorities. Once collected, the data will be entered in a database shared by the provinces and districts.
- Creation and training of 8 groups of parents. Pairing them with local partner organizations. 8 training sessions will be held on the importance of access to education for girls; 3 days of training (80 parents).
- Raising awareness on equal access to education for boys and girls among the teachers at the 8 inclusive schools.
- Creation of 8 support groups for handicapped or non-handicapped children as well as 8 groups specifically for girls in order to develop their leadership skills and boost their self-confidence. These groups will enable the children to get to know each other better by doing activities, raising awareness and sharing information. The groups will be made up by the school and supported by two or three volunteer teachers and volunteers from local partner organizations. Two psychologists from Mataram will offer support to girls from the 8 schools. This ad hoc support will help the young girls express how they feel and equip them with the tools they need in order to comfortably face their educational environment and eventually immerse themselves in it.
Why a partnership with Handicap International?
Through 25 years of experience in 60 developing countries and 20 Inclusive education projects, Handicap International has acquired a wealth of experience and knowledge. There are currently two projects in South-East Asia: one in Cambodia and one in Vietnam. HI draws on its extensive international educational networks to provide relevant technical support. Based on HI’s experience, a position paper has been written up which defines the strategies and intervention methods used in inclusive education. The vast experience that HI has acquired in the field of inclusive education is demonstrated in their 4-year strategy plan (2009-2012). Based on the insights and knowledge HI gained during this period, its latest project will begin in January 2013.
Children with handicaps are much too frequently marginalized and their potential and talent go unnoticed. This presents a loss for the future of their families, but also to their entire community. 60 million girls is proud to support a project that will promote the inclusion and education of these children.