“When inclusive education is fully embraced, we abandon the idea that children have to become ‘normal’ in order to contribute to the world” – Norman Kunc
From the 9th to the 11th of November, we had the pleasure of participating in the symposium organised by the director of the Special Education Needs Authority, Arvin Authelsingh (under the aegis of the Ministry of Education, Tertiary Education, Science & Technology).
It was an honour to be able to showcase our platform to valued stakeholders. We also had the chance to connect with new & insightful players in the Mauritian education sector with whom we can definitely see potential synergies with in the future.
On the first day of the symposium, we presented Alaprann and how can we create more opportunities for inclusivity in education through the use of technology.
We highlighted the importance of the diagnostic of the child before labelling him a certain way. Bringing more attention to this can help alleviate issues the child may encounter in school, such as bullying.
Below is a summary of our founder’s speech.
With special needs children encountering multiple challenges on a regular basis, E-Learning technology can help alter this reality by bringing education to them (rather than the opposite).
With E-learning, we have the capacity:
- To access the content anytime, anywhere and learn at their own pace
- The convenience of multiple formats (audio, video, text) allows all students to follow the class in their own way.
- For teachers to be able to offer more attention to special needs students.
There are some obvious drawbacks to E-Learning such as it not being suited to all needs. It also has a tendency of isolating the student and removing the social aspect which going to school brings you.
Technology is the answer to these challenges. Design-wise, the use of subtitles and following the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) guidelines for example, facilitates the learning journey of the student. Furthermore, the UI (user interface) & UX (user experience) designs are particularly important in enhancing the experience of the student – for instance, using contrasting colours allows for a better experience by colour-blind students.
However, we must not forget the human aspect when it comes to inclusivity in education. Which has a big part to play in the development of the student.
Through our platform, we believe merging both technology and human touch can bring immense benefits:
- NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations) have on-the-ground experience & knowledge. Alaprann would be an additional tool to help them broadcast their content and enable a better follow-up.
- Teachers who are an important pillar in the student’s education, would be able to provide more attention to students who require it.
- Parents who are the guides and support of the student are often lost when it comes to their child’s education. Technology can allow an easier follow-up of their child’s progress. On top of that, they can encourage the student in a more adequate way thanks to having enough knowledge to understand their progress.
- The creation of social groups based on the students’ interests brings in the much needed social aspect. Students would have the opportunity of learning together while also interacting and getting to know other students.
Throughout the 3 days of the symposium, we had the opportunity of better understanding the needs of students with disabilities. This made us re-evaluate our offer and the service we provide.
We are a community which promotes inclusivity, equality, and merit. Any opportunity to broadcast our mission and connect with stakeholders empowers us to keep challenging ourselves.
Our aim is to enhance the current education system by being a complementary tool for the students of Mauritius. This is a challenge we will be working on achieving together with our partners.