Access to Quality Education
Since 2011 the Australian aid program’s Access to Quality Education Program (AQEP) in Fiji, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education (MoE) and other relevant stakeholders, have been working to improve the ability of children from very poor communities, including those with a disability, to access a quality school education. In 2013–14, Nossal’s RAD was utilised to determine baseline information for the project; to identify children with disabilities among out-of-school children in Fiji; and to investigate the barriers to attending school experienced by those with and without disabilities. Nossal’s contribution also involved the development of a range of resources including a disability inclusive toolkit, fact sheets, booklets, newsletters and disability inclusion awards for inclusive education schools.
As a Disability Inclusion Specialist, Sally Baker provides expertise to design and implement AQEP’s Disability Inclusion Strategy, including oversight of a pilot program to demonstrate inclusion of children with disabilities in mainstream schools; review and redevelopment of Fiji’s policy on special and inclusive education; development of a multi-year MoE-led implementation plan; and reform of the MoE’s education information management system so that it collects and disaggregates disability data. Ms Baker works closely with Ministry, local special education stakeholders, teacher training institutions and NGO partners on approaches to increase the capacity of mainstream teachers to provide a quality education for children with disabilities in their classrooms and schools. See http://dfat.gov.au/about-us/publications/Pages/fiji-access-to-quality-education-program-framework-for-delivery.aspx