Midterm Evaluation of Project on Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities in Tien Giang Province

About the publication

  • Published: 2013
  • Series: --
  • Type: NGO reviews
  • Carried out by: Alexander Hauschild and Diane Mills
  • Commissioned by: Misjonsalliansen (Mission Alliance)
  • Country: Vietnam
  • Theme:
  • Pages: --
  • Serial number: --
  • ISBN: --
  • ISSN: --
  • Organization: Misjonsalliansen (Mission Alliance)
  • Local partner: Vietnamese authorities
  • Project number: QZA-12/0763-138-140
NB! The publication is ONLY available online and can not be ordered on paper.

In 2009, Norwegian Mission Alliance in Vietnam (NMA‐V) in cooperation with Tien Giang provincial Department of Education and Training (DOET) implemented a project titled ‘Support for inclusive education for children with disabilities’. The first phase of the project from 2009 until 2012 in Cho Gao and Cai Lay districts was aimed at awareness‐raising on the needs of children with disabilities, Resource Centre (RC) capacity building and capacity building for teachers, rehabilitation staff, community staff and families of children with disabilities. In 2012, the project expanded to My Tho city. The project objectives are that children with disabilities receive early intervention and quality inclusive education (IE) and are oriented and trained in vocations in order to have sustainable livelihoods.

The purpose of the evaluation was to respond to the following objectives:
- How does the project achieve its objectives and outcomes?
- How do the Resource Centres and educational units fulfil their roles, duties on developing a comprehensive system to support children with disabilities at project sites in the province?
- What are the main lessons learnt for local partners and NMA‐V on developing inclusive education in the future?

The approach to collect data for this evaluation has been divided into two major stages:
Preparation & Desk Study and field research. The evaluators reviewed materials submitted by NMA‐V and developed a set of guiding questions based on the terms of reference and the results of the documentation review. The evaluators used a range of participatory techniques to elicit opinions from teachers, parents, children and other key informants. Methods included focus group discussions, group work, interactive play sessions and photo elicitation.

Key findings:
• Awareness Raising: The consultants found there appears to be very little stigma attached to disabilities in the three districts. However, it appears to be the attitude of the majority that people with disabilities require a lot of special attention and this is a major barrier to independence and inclusion.
• Teacher Training: The teachers appear to have little knowledge on inclusive education. The perception seems to be the children are ‘in school’ so therefore included. They appear to work hard and are open to new ideas but lack support in professional development and training. There has been some training from the resource centre but specific to individual disabilities and mainly at the time of a child’s enrolment into school. There is no clear data kept on training provision.
• Early Intervention Program at the Resource Centre (RC): Children come with their parents to the resource centre and receive sessions with RC teachers. Parents are actively involved and encouraged to learn techniques that they can implement with their children at home. The RC offers group activities for children and parents in the early intervention program. There are links with some schools and communities, however not all parents and schools were aware of the activities at the RC.
• Identification and Assessment: Community support teams and parent groups, if capacitated and mobilized, could prove to be very effective in the identification of children with disabilities. Assessment is currently thought of by many as a medical issue rather than functional. There appears to be very few activities taking place in partnership with the Ministry of Health (MOH).
• Vocational Training: The consultants visited several young people in their places of work who appear to be independent and have sustainable livelihoods. There is very little happening at the RC and those activities that were observed follow the common misconception that people with disabilities only have the capacity to sew or make jewelry.
• Sustainability: There appears to be a concern about the sustainability of the project. The consultants found no planning for sustainability after 2017.
• Accessibility: The evaluators looked at physical accessibility. It is not only about access for all to buildings, transportation, public spaces like pre‐schools and primary schools but also about cleanliness and safety. In many of the locations visited during the evaluation, rooms in use were on the second floor and reachable only by staircases and not accessible for children with disabilities who were part of the class.

• Raising awareness is necessary at all levels and should fully involve people with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities. It is vital that these two groups of stakeholders have a voice throughout the process. The evaluators recommend implementing more awareness campaigns for parents and for the whole community. Other government units like community support teams, women’s union, farmer union etc. should be encouraged to hold awareness activities supported by co-facilitators from the project.
• The project should review its plans and approach to teacher training, to ensure that IE skills and knowledge are reaching all staff. NMA-V needs to review and revise the inclusive education curriculum. It is recommended that a database should be set up to ensure proper records are kept of all trainings.
• The planning and implementation of rehabilitation and physiotherapy services, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, would be a very positive step forward in the project.
• Due to the increased number of children receiving early intervention at the RC, more teachers with a background in early intervention should be assigned to the resource centre to increase its capacity to offer quality support.
• The early intervention program should expand to cover more disabilities and health conditions in addition to focusing on independence skills.
• All members of the community support teams should be trained and equipped with skills and knowledge on how to identify children who are not in school and provide community support.
• Plans should be implemented for restructuring of the vocational training program beginning with forging stronger links with the business world and a survey of the needs of employers and the job market.
• Planning for sustainability must include all stakeholders and actions should begin immediately. Sustainability will only be possible if all major stakeholders take ownership of the project and are fully committee. An exit strategy for NMA-V needs to be developed for the program to become a government program.
• The implementation of an effective rehabilitation service could begin to look at the physical barriers in the learning environment. Strategies need to be in place to make adaptations, even small ones such as hand‐rails, to aid independence for children with disabilities.

Published 17.10.2014
Last updated 16.02.2015