Building Learning Foundations is impacting children in the most remote and hard-to-reach districts where teachers and school leaders prioritize the needs of children who are most often left behind – those with disabilities, learning difficulties, or other factors which make accessing education challenging.
Our interventions are informed by a Disability Assessment based on the Washington Group questions, the UN’s standard for identifying people living with disabilities, ensuring that inclusivity remains at the heart of the programme.
Our volunteers have developed an inclusive education guide for teachers, equipping them with the tools and understanding they need to identify and meet the needs of children with disabilities or special educational needs. English and Mathematics toolkits help enable inclusive thinking and action to become part of teachers’ daily practice.
Responding to COVID-19
COVID-19 presented an unprecedented situation that changed very quickly as across the world schools closed, meaning millions of children were losing out on vital opportunities for learning. In Rwanda there was a need to rapidly assess the practical implications of how we could continue to deliver the programme- how could we continue to support teachers to deliver education for their students ?
For the BLF programme, this meant a quickly pivot to offering home learning solutions, thought for many, access to the internet and online learning is a challenge. Several of our VSO international volunteers were repatriated home, but some chose to remain on the project. Others chose to stay supporting the project through remote or “e” volunteering, as have the majority of national volunteers on the programme. VSO’s e-volunteering system was designed with elements to support teachers and students to stay socially connected whilst following social isolation guidelines.
The team have managed to rapidly set up new virtual ways of working and have worked around teachers’ other commitments to ensure that they are able to still receive training and support. It was the strength of the relationship between the team members which allowed BLF to adapt so quickly to the changing circumstances.