Special Education in Tanzania
In 2009, Germany and Tanzania ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and committed themselves to guarantee participation in society and education for every person during the lifespan.
The number of people with disabilities in Tanzania is estimated on 3 million, so 10% of the total population. At the moment, there is a huge lack of special needs education.
Particularly humans with Speech and Language problems do not have a circle of interest in Tanzania. Their disorders are not as easy to notice as compared to those with mental or physical disabilities. The main challenge is to build up special resources and to educate pedagogic and therapeutic staff. Specifically early integration of infants and young children with special needs are more and more placed in the scientific and public interest.
An approach for mastering these challenges has been developed on the base of a long lasting cooperation between the Institute for Special Education of the Leibniz University Hannover, Germany and the Sebastian Kolowa Memorial University (SEKOMU) in Tanzania. In several onsite projects the material and personal resources should be developed, established and strengthened.
One of these projects is dedicated to the Development of a Culturally Sensitive Research Methodology in Early Communication and Language Development. Through audiovisual micro sequence-analysis, which uses the Software Mangold INTERACT, the effects of Early Childhood Intervention in orphans are measured. In parallel, the increase of the trained experts in assessment and intervention is examined. Appropriate cross-cultural sensitive programs for assessment, intervention and prevention are developed based on the evaluation of these studies.
Frank, B., Polzin, C., Semkiwa, J. & Lüdtke, U. (2013): Development of a Culturally Sensitive Research Methodology in Early Communication and Language Development. 5th East African Conference on Communication Disability. Association of Speech Language Therapists Kenya. 02.-05.09.2013, Mombasa Kenya.