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Learning Lessons from Experience: good practice case studies. Inclusive Education Title: Cluster schools & Resource centres (school & authority level) Countries: Rwanda & Ethiopia Specific Topic Area: Developing Cluster schools & Resource centres Presented by: Vincent MURENZI (Rwanda)

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Learning Lessons from Experience: good practice case studies

Inclusive Education

Title: Cluster schools & Resource centres (school & authority level)

Countries: Rwanda & Ethiopia

Specific Topic Area:Developing Cluster schools & Resource centres

Presented by: Vincent MURENZI (Rwanda)

Desalegn MEBRATU (Ethiopia)

Date: 28th May 2013


What do we mean by

Cluster schools & Resource centres (school & authority level)

Cluster schools are schools that become inclusive due to being sensitized and developed by their neighboring pilot schools to accommodate learners with special educational needs including those with disabilities and meet their needs in the same practices and approaches as the ones used in pilot schools. A resource room is a classroom where students come for part of their instructional day to receive special education services.It benefits to the students with special educational needs in addition to what they receive in the regular classroom placement.

summary of ie context
Summary of IE context
  • Rwanda

In Rwanda, 36 pilot schools have developed 104 cluster schools in two years. The latter brought positive and significant achievements notably the change of mindset, the change of pedagogical practices with respect of inclusive principles and approaches, the enrollment of 2961 vulnerable pupils including 1475 children with disabilities (647 female and 828 male).Parallel with this increment in size, the 36 model inclusive schools have developed resource rooms with available local means and support from parents. The resource rooms helped parents to assist teachers and regularly support their children with provision of learning materials. It served for special educational assessment, guidance and counseling, multidisciplinary team meeting, educational materials production, private rooms for boys and girls for eventual first aid, parental advice and supplementary teaching.

summary of ie context1
Summary of IE context
  • Ethiopia
  • In Ethiopia, six pilot cluster schools have developed inclusive environment Especially, the enrollment of children with disabilities in the six pilot clusters has increased to 791 from 535 in in a short time, just a year and half. 30 schools which are satellites to the pilot cluster schools are taking lessons and practicing inclusive principles.
summary of ie context cont
Summary of IE context-CONT


  • The six pilot schools have developed their own resource centers which also serve the 30 satellite schools. Special needs teachers who are in charge of the centers provide professional assistance to mainstream teachers, school staff, parents and individual students. Excluding teachers and students from the 30 satellite schools, the resource centers have benefited 17 270 students / 791/ with disabilities.
cluster schools resource centres school authority level main barriers
Cluster schools & Resource centres (school & authority level): main barriers
  • Cluster schools are so many that they are not easily manageable;
  • Some schools do not have enough rooms to develop resource rooms.
description of the good practice and measures taken to overcome barriers
Description of the good practice and measures taken to overcome barriers


  • To empower cluster schools in a bid to render them autonomous in the future;
  • To advocate for availing resource rooms throughout the process of building Nine Year Basic Education (9YBE) classrooms.
description of the good practice and measures taken to overcome barriers1
Description of the good practice and measures taken to overcome barriers


  • Establishment of functional resource centers in cluster schools: managed by SNE teachers, where mainstream teachers can look for support to improve their skills.
  • Involvement of DPOS in the promotion and practice of inclusive education for vulnerable groups together with the cluster schools.
  • The involvement of children in the IE process through students’ parliament and various clubs.
most significant changes
Most significant changes


  • In sum, 104 clusters were born and 2961 vulnerable children including 1475 children with disabilities were included in them;
  • The assessment of children’s needs was done;
  • The individual Education Plans were done and evaluated by the schools;
  • The culture of inclusion was developed by the pioneer teachers;
  • Schools were equipped through teachers and head teachers’ own initiatives;
  • The relations between the community, cluster and model inclusive schools were tightly tailored.
most significant changes1
Most significant changes


1. Positive change towards the education of the most vulnerable groups among parents and improved IE practice by service providers and better physical accessibility which has all lead to an increase in enrollment of children with disabilities from 535 to 791 and better learning environment for another 17,270 students

2. Active participation of DPOS in the expansion of education for the most vulnerable groups and the establishment of inclusive education steering committee at school level.

3. Interest and recognition for the promotion of inclusive school environment by satellite schools, Regional Education Bureaus and Ministry of education.

impact statements
Impact statements
  • Quotations + photos

Trained teachers created a multiplier effect

A teacher of NYAGISOZI cluster school in KAMONYI district said: ‘’ At first, I was not sure of what to do when I saw CwDs coming to my class. I wondered if I could manage to handle them as I was not trained in inclusive pedagogy. Once the trained teacher from MUGINA primary school came to train us, I felt comfortable and became used to. In turn, I do mobilize and sensitize my peer teachers on a regular basis ’’, end of the statement.

Resource rooms enriched the capacity of teachers to conduct assessment and use individual Education Plan

A teacher of St Stephen SHYOGWE Secondary School, said: ’’the development of resource room was a good opportunity to me to conduct special educational needs assessment and plan individual education plans for those who were seen to be deviating from the normal curriculum. More importantly, I taught a learner who could not keep attention any more supplementary way. With toys, I managed to develop his attention slowly’’, end of quotation.

ethiopia impact statements
ETHIOPIA : Impact statements

“I stayed in bed all day and did nothing,” “I didn't have friends, I didn't go to school—I knew nothing about the world.” says Hodan Abedulqader, 17 years old child with physical disability seen on the photo / middle/ below , when describing her situation before joining school,

On April 2013, Hodan had the opportunity to meet privately with Jessica Cox, the world's first armless pilot (she flies with her feet).

ethiopia sne teacher and a student explains about resource center

“Now we have a center with various materials to assist the students,” says Genet Wolde, SNE Teacher. She added, “Mainstream teachers come to the resource center looking for technical support from us and we do our”

Tiyan Bushira, visually impaired students said , “ now, we have braille , and other audio visual equipments helping our learning,” she concludes, “ i wish all children who are blind like me get the chance .”

replicating or scaling up this practice what do we need to do
Replicating or scaling up this practice – what do we need to do?
  • District authorities need to set strategies for supporting the emerging cluster schools to remain on the inclusive track.
  • Other schools need to replicate this practice of developing resource rooms.
replicating or scaling up this practice what do we need to do ethiopia
Replicating or scaling up this practice – what do we need to do?-ETHIOPIA
  • All schools in the regions and country need to take lesson promote and practice inclusive principles to reach more vulnerable children.
  • All schools should establish resource centers, managed by SNE teachers to provide technical assistance to mainstream teachers and to provide additional teaching –learning resources to students and teachers.
  • People with disabilities and Disable People Organizations should be exploited as a resource, especially in awareness raising campaigns for parents.
summary points
Summary points

Our experience in developing cluster schools and resource rooms in Rwandan schools shows that cluster schools have helped teachers to build capacity for their peers to accommodate needs of children with disabilities in mainstream schools and resource rooms have enabled teachers to offer supplementary teaching services.

summary points ethiopi a
Summary points-ETHIOPIA

In Ethiopia a cluster school serves us a hub of resources and technical support for at least five satellite schools in the locality.

Our experience indicates that senior teachers and SNE teachers in the cluster schools have served as trainers for beginner and junior teachers from satellite schools regarding inclusive education, on ways of teaching children with disabilities and quality education in general. The resource centers in the cluster schools have benefited teachers and students including those from the satellite ones.



Scenario before: Scenario today:

Under a tree In the resource room



Teachers have made a study trip: they are receiving explanations from their peer teachers.

thank you inclusion is possible