ENABLE: Higher Education and Multimedia in Special Needs Education and Rehabilitation
The overall goal in this project is to contribute to competence building among teachers and rehabilitation workers who serve persons with sensory impairment in East Africa.
Photo: Bjørn Skaar
About the project
This project is funded by Norad, and it’s a cooperation between Kyambogo University in Uganda, Kenya Institute for Special Education (KISE) in Nairobi, University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), Tanzania and Department of Education at University of Oslo.
Section for Research and Mediation Support, The Libraryand Departmentof Special Needs Education, all at UoO, contribute in the project.
The project aims to achieve this through supporting the implementation of a Master program in Special Needs Education at Kyambogo, supporting 6 PhD scholars from the partners in South coming to UoO, development of a web portal about sensory impairments with content of relevance for East Africa, development of library facilities, ICT infra-structure and competence in digital literacy at the partner institutions. Research cooperation between the three African institutions and the University of Oslo is an important factor.
The fall 2012 "NORHED - The Norwegian Programme for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research for Development” was launched by NORAD.
The aim of the programme is to strengthen capacity of higher education institutions in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC) to educate more and better qualified candidates, and to increase quality and quantity of research conducted by the countries’ own researchers.
InterMedia, (now IPED and FFS) had experience from several projects in Africa and had previously collaborated with Kyambogo, KISE and UDSM. Contact was established and a group prepared an application for Seed Money from NORAD. Through meetings in Kampala and Oslo, the main application were prepared and approved the summer 2013.
We at IPED and FFS had just completed the development of www.sansetap.no, a web-portal for The Norwegian Directorate of Health. This, together with great interest of universal design and accessibility, was one of the reasons sensory impairment and development of a similar web-portal was focused in the ENNABLE project.
The Master’s programme in Special Needs Education and Rehabilitation at Kyambogo University will comprise day, evening and week-end undertakings, lasting for four semesters. During the third and fourth semesters the students will work on their Master’s thesis.
Lecturers who have just attained their PhDs from UoO will play a key role in the implementation of the MEd programme. The Master's program will be open to applicants from all three partners in the South. 6 Scholarships to employees at institutions and people from marginalized groups at each intake can be given from NORHED program.
Nevertheless, it now appears that UoO will do little to be involved in the Master program with teaching resources.
6 PhD positions, two from each of the African partners will be offered the opportunity to study at Department of Education, UoO. At least four of the focus areas for their research will be linked to sensory impairment, and two will focus on teaching materials and design of learning environments. In the autumn 2014, three candidates have the opportunity to start up at IPED, and the other three the winter 2015.
An update of the library services at Kyambogo is critical for the quality of their planned Master’s program. It is also a key factor for academic staff members to stay updated and for them to carry out context relevant research, to publish and share their perspectives. Two Norwegian resource persons from the Library at UoO will identify areas that need improvement in the faculty library at Kyambogo University. They will suggest solutions that they consider to have a potential to be sustainable, and introduce the use of free electronic resources. An upgrade of ICT infrastructure for both the library and as teaching and learning resources, are a part of this NORHED project.
The web-portal “Sensory Impairment”
IPED and FFS are working together to develop the web portal “Sensory Impairment” with content about vision, hearing and combined sensory loss. The web portal will provide information and be an important learning resource for the entire East Africa region. The website will be created in both English and Kiswahili, with emphasis on universal design. Sign language versions, visual interpretation in both languages and web development by the W3C standard are a major challenge.
The content will be developed in close cooperation with the African partners and organizations for people with sensory loss.
The research activities will focus on universal design, learning environment and different areas of special needs education and sensory impairment. Staff members at the four universities will partly work close together with data collection, analysis and dissemination, and sometimes have special interests and project.
The project extends for 5 years with a total budget of 16 000 000 NOK.