The Chargé D’Affaires launches USAID’s Inclusive Education Project in Mali

In cooperation with the Malian Ministry of Education, Chargé d’Affaires Gregory Garland launched USAID’s new Inclusive Education for the Visually Impaired Children in Mali project on October 16 at the Institute for the Blind in Mali. The project increases the number of visually impaired and blind children attending mainstream primary schools, and introduces an early reading assessment system for blind and visually impaired learners.  The project also aims to increase the capacity and commitment of the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders to support inclusive education for children with visual impairments. The project prioritizes the registration and retention of 252 visually impaired children in primary schools in Bamako, Koulikoro, Segou and Gao regions, and will establish six demonstration schools. The project also seeks to provide these children with strong and sustainable support networks within their schools and communities, and will train 110 teachers, 10 itinerant teachers and 14 pedagogical advisers to teach reading to children who are blind, and advocate for the inclusion of inclusive education modules in the curriculum of the Institute for Teacher Education. The official opening was followed by a class demonstration by schoolchildren and teachers.