Special Olympics Malawi has trained 48 teachers on how they can transform the livelihood of learners living with intellectual disabilities through sporting activities in various schools in Chitipa District.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony of the trained teachers over the weekend, Special Olympics Malawi national director, Ened Mwauluka, said they decided to undertake the training because there are a number of learners with intellectual disabilities in the district.
“Our research indicates that about 5 to 10 percent of general population have intellectual disabilities, this is why we decided to train more teachers so that the number of disabled athletes can increase,” she said.
Mwauluka said she believes the training will improve the living standards of learners living with disabilities because the trained teachers have been equipped with skills to enable them identify a person with intellectual disability.
“We have trained the coaches to select people with intellectual disability and introduce them to various sporting activities. We hope that the training will help overcome stigma and discrimination among people with intellectual disability as some parents have been locking their children indoors,” highlighted Mwauluka.
Njelengwa Education Zone PEA, Mawaya Mtelekeska, has since hailed the initiative saying it has come at a right time as the country is agitating for all-inclusive education which aims at promoting equality among all students.
On his part, one of the teachers who attended the course, Denis Mwenewiwa, said the training has helped them a lot and it has assisted them to understand that people with intellectual disabilities also matter in a society.
“Since we have learnt the skills, we are now knowledgeable enough to assist people with intellectual disability to live an independent life and socialize with others through sporting activities, he said
Chitipa district alone has 1786 children with intellectual disabilities.