Volunteers coming together to support Inclusive Education in Tonga.
A half-dozen Volunteers who have training and experience in Special Education in the U.S. are now preparing a collection of assessment strategies, instructional activities, and other resources that Tongan teachers, Peace Corps Volunteers, and parents can use to better understand and respond to those children’s needs and strengths. (These same student-centered resources are for the most part also relevant for all children. Teachers and parents will be shown how to adapt them to the particular needs of the children they are serving.).
The Volunteers have also visited an Inclusive Education Classroom for children with more severe levels of disability to develop a “shopping list” of resources (e.g., play equipment, furniture, blocks, books) that teachers can use. Volunteers might also help the Ministry’s Inclusive Education Coordinator and her two newly-trained staff to train principals, teachers, and parents in the outer islands about how they might better serve children who might otherwise be underserved.
This new, focused effort is in keeping with our English Literacy Project objectives related to development of effective teaching materials and methods, training of teachers, and parental involvement.