The Training of Teachers in the Development Cooperation in Africa

Since 2007 the EFWI has been involved in the Development Cooperation in Africa through its Senior Lecturer Dr. Anton Geiser.  In the subsequent years, a number of further training events on the theme of ‘global learning’ have taken place in conjunction with the education officers from Brot für die Welt e.V., Kindernothilfe e.V. and the Christoffel-Blindenmission e.V.

In 2009 Dr. Geiser travelled to Zambia on behalf of Misereor e.V. in order to evaluate a large project there for the community based rehabilitation of people with disabilities. Since 1998, Dr. Geiser has worked as a consultant for projects in community based rehabilitation and teacher training in so called developing countries.

In 2010, cooperation with the association 'Wir für Ruanda – ACA e.V.' began, with regard to the establishment of a rehabilitation and training centre for mentally challenged children (those described in the past as 'mentally handicapped'). This centre was to offer such children a holistic and integrated development of their skills as well as providing training for specialist teachers. There is more information and films here at our website (see also the English version):

Öffnet internen Link im aktuellen FensterSchulen helfen Schulen - Projekt Lebenshoffnung

In 2012, Dr. Geiser met Dr. Evariste Karangwa of the National University of Rwanda. In 2013, Dr. Karangwa was authorised to establish a new training department within the National University of Rwanda, College of Education. This new department represents the first of its kind in Rwanda for the field of Special Needs, Inclusive Education and Rehabilitation.

On the basis of the work of Dr. Geiser already accomplished in Rwanda, Dr. Karangwa sent a request for cooperation to the EFWI with a view to support in the foundation of the new department. Owing to their good contacts within the University of Landau-Koblenz Institute for Special Needs Education, EFWI was able to secure participation from this quarter.

 

In January 2014, Prof. Dr. Michael Wagner, Prof. Dr. Sven Jennessen (both from the Institute of Special Needs Education) and Dr. Anton Geiser attended the Conference of the East African Institutional Linkage in Special Needs, Inclusive Education and Rehabilitation. It was in the context of this conference that the ideas for cooperation between the team and Dr. Karangwa were first discussed.

Picture of the event:

 

Ultimately, a written statement concerning the planned cooperation was produced. In June 2014 this statement was signed by all participating institutions. You can read this document here:

Leitet Herunterladen der Datei einYou can read this document here:

Within the framework of a DAAD project, the Institute of Special Needs Education (University of Landau-Koblenz) will participate in the development of the curriculum and the organisation of the new department. Additionally they would like to develop an exchange programme for lecturers and students. An application for funding from DAAD for this has already been made.

Dr. Karangwa was made Dean of the new department in July 2014. In accordance with his wishes, the EFWI will be involved in the organisational development, the development of schools and the further training of teaching and school administrative staff as well as the development of teaching materials. To this end, talks are in progress with potential cooperating partners in the development cooperation. A project proposal to establish a resource centre at the new training department in cooperation with the EFWI is ready to be handed out.

In Rwanda, according to the terms of the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, there is an obligation to provide people with special needs (with disabilities) access to mainstream education. Dr. Geiser's experiences with the project 'Hope  for Life' have shown that this is possible. The basis for this is a qualitatively high level of training in the field of Special Needs Education. In contrast to other East African countries, this is an extensively new field of experience and of work for Rwanda.

EFWI works on the basis of a Christian concept of humanity, that all people are seen as unique beings by God. Through this lens, work with and for people with special needs is perceived holistically as part of a living ministry and mission. Simultaneously, it is also a church led implementation of the rights of people with special needs (with disabilities) to full participation and inclusion in mainstream education.

The EFWI has no budgetary resources of its own for this important work. Therefore we hope for support via other organisations for development cooperation. For this cooperation, EFWI has set up an account for donations called 'Lehrerbildung in Afrika/Teacher Training in Africa'. Should you wish to support this project financially, you may contact our senior lecturer Dr. Anton Geiser directly at: anton.geiser@evkirchepfalz.de.