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Early Childhood & Disability in
     sub-Saharan Africa

   a




          Tirussew Teferra
   Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
Discussion Points
1.   What are the major early childhood
     disabling factors in sub-Saharan Africa ?
2.    What children’s do during early
      childhood period.
4.   Conflicting conceptions about early
     childhood development.
5.   Early intervention practices &
     consequences.
6.   Some reflections
Major disabling factors in
      sub-Saharan Africa
   Childhood infectious diseases & lack of immunization
   Under nutrition, personal & environmental hygiene
   Health condition of prospective mothers
   Lack of access to medical services during prenatal,
    natal & postal period
   Harmful disabling traditional practices & civil strife
   Genetic anomalies

   Note : Most of them are preventable
Profile & prevalence of
    disability in Ethiopia

MO-42
%
        VI-30 %

                  HI-15 %

                            ID-7%%

                                       BE-2% 2 %


                                                       MU-4% 4
                                                       %



                            Base Line Survey [ 1995]
What do CwoDs do
    in Early Childhood period during
           sub-Saharan Africa?

 Most children ( 3 & above) are at home and
  out-side home out in the field engaged in
  different tasks /gender based analysis/
The girl child
- Mainly engaged in domestic tasks such as
  house hold chores, errands, cooking ,cleaning
  and taking care of siblings
-   Fetching water & fire wood
Children in the range of 3-6
looking after cattle in Ethiopia
What do CwoDs do in Early
     Childhood Period in sub-Saharan
             Africa? Cont…
    The boy Child
     Boys are mainly engaged in out-side tasks
      such as herding cattle & assist in farming

     In the  urban areas boys and girls work as
      daily laborers, vendors (selling cigarettes,
      lottery, news papers, food items etc.)

   In pastoral areas children move from place to
    place with their parents & clans
What do CwoDs do during Early
     Childhood period in sub-Africa?
                Cont…

   Limited access to early childhood education
    – Community-based
    – Faith-based: Traditional & Modern
      preschools
    – Public -based: Zero classes attached with
      primary schools/Government owned KGs
    – Private : International/local
    Note : Almost all of them them are not
           accessible to children with disabilities
Zero Classes(preschools attached
   to primary schools – New
           beginning
What do CwDs do during Early
     Childhood Period in sub-Saharan
                Africa?

   The conditions of CwDs varies based on the
    nature & severity of the problem as well as the
    economic conditions of the family

        Children with severe intellectual
         disabilities, multiple disabilities and
         cerebral palsy and other chronic health
         conditions stay at home idle
What do CwDs do during early
childhood period in sub-Saharan
        Africa? Cont…
– Blind children are engaged mainly in
  domestic house hold tasks
– Children with language disorders, children
  with mild intellectual disability children
  with hearing impairment (deaf & hard of
  hearing) , & children with low vision are
  engaged in the domestic and out-side tasks
  like children with out disabilities.

Note: presence of inclusion out-side school
What do CwDs do during early
childhood period in sub-Saharan
        Africa? Cont…


  CwDs are taken for treatment by their
   parents mainly by mothers to religious
   places as well to different traditional
   healers.
  Several of them are engaged in begging
   around churches, mosques and on the
   street.
Conflicting Conceptions about Early
       Childhood in Ethiopia
     Metaphors conveying the importance of early
       care and intervention:
   “ Lejen be tut ehilen be tikiment” [ As
    the right time for harvest is on the month of
    October; the time for shaping the child’s
    behavior is during the period of breast
    feeding]

   “ Zaf belejenet yetarekal” [ As
    straightening a tree during its nursery stage
    is easy; it is easy to mold the child’s behavior
Conflicting conceptions of Early
     Childhood in Ethiopia cont…
Metaphors related to discouraging interacting
 with children :
   “ Zemta Worke New         ” (Remaining quite is
    highly appreciated )

   “ Ke lej atchawet yewogahal benchet” [don’t
    play with the a child, if you do he will poke your eyes ;
    discouraging from playing or interacting with children
    ]
   “ Ke Le Yeg wle Lej Hone ” [ one who
    associates with child will be considered as a
    child ]
Conflicting conceptions of Early
    Childhood in Ethiopia

Metaphors related to differential
treatments:
   “ Le Lej shero le awake doro ” [give a
    child an ordinary food ; but a quality for an
    adult, discriminating the child from dining
    quality food like that of the adult]
   “ Lej ena fit ayeberdewum” ( it does not
    matter if the child does not properly dress,
    he/she does not feel cold like that of a human
    face)
Traditional practices of Early
      Childhood Care
   Useful Practices
-Breast feeding( lactating), & strong
  emotional attachment/ frequent physical
   contact mainly with the mother
-Communal up-bringing, that is,
  Involvement of the extended family,
  neighbors & the community in child
  care, character formation & protection
  from any from of abuse
       
Traditional practices of Early
           Childhood Care
 Useful practices & resources cont…
-“ Gudifecha” Adoption of abandoned
   children

-   Sibling take-caring (child to child)

-Story-telling traditions , availability of
  different types of stories, games,
  playing materials etc.
Traditional practices of Early
            Childhood Care
   Harmful Practices
   Milk teeth extraction, tonsillectomy, female
    genital mutilation, mutilation of the skin in
    the forehead, eyebrow of their babies etc.
   Prevalence of corporal punishment at home
    and in schools
   Verbal abuse such as yelling, deploring,
    cursing, terrifying & chastising for shaping
    children’s behaviors
   Note: Prevalence of derogatory &
    dehumanizing terms addressing CwDs
Traditional practices of Early
      Childhood Care

 Harmful Practices cont…
-Discouraging children from sitting &
  discussing with adults
-Prevalence of early marriage, abduction
  & child labor
-Limited role of fathers on early child
  care
-Large family size & lack of family
Conceptions about disabling factors
             & CwDs
   Wrong deeds & being cursed
   Possessed by evil spirit
    {subject to neglect & rejection}
   Unable to learn/underestimation {subject to
    charity & dependency}
   Hopeless and incompetent {overprotection )

Note: The negative attitudes have been
 recognized as more disabling than the
 disability per se !!
Early intervention practices to cure
or offset the impact of disability


 Religious Intervention practices
-Deep prayer and submitting to readings
  of different religious texts,
-Sprinkling or drinking of holy water,
-Swallowing blessed food and gelling
  blessed materials “eminet “on the body
  etc.
Early intervention practices to
   cure or offset the impact of
          disability cont…


 Secular Intervention practices


    Herbal medicine
    Amulet to hang on the Neck
    Indigenous psychotherapy
    Indigenous physiotherapy
Inclusive Education : Roadmap to
the Education of CwDs in Ethiopia
Inclusive Education : Roadmap to
the Education of CwDs in Ethiopia
   CwIDs
                    General Classroom
Reflections
 Develop and introduce cost effective
  inclusive ECCE programs that could
  accommodate the needs of diverse
  learners.
 Sensitize, parents, teachers, children & the
  community about useful and harmful
  childrearing practices.
 Educate parents & teachers about child
  development, disability and care.
Reflections Cont…
   Promote school-parent partnership in
    the prevention, detection, assessment &
    intervention of children with
    disabilities.

   Compile local children stories, methods
    of story-telling, children games &
    playing materials etc., & cross-fertilize
    in the preparation of ECCE programs as
    teaching -learning materials.
Benshangul –Gemuz /Pawe /Hot and
remote Area in Ethiopia ,2011



   Thank you !!

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Early childood and disablity in sub saharan africa

  • 1. Early Childhood & Disability in sub-Saharan Africa a Tirussew Teferra Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  • 2. Discussion Points 1. What are the major early childhood disabling factors in sub-Saharan Africa ? 2. What children’s do during early childhood period. 4. Conflicting conceptions about early childhood development. 5. Early intervention practices & consequences. 6. Some reflections
  • 3. Major disabling factors in sub-Saharan Africa  Childhood infectious diseases & lack of immunization  Under nutrition, personal & environmental hygiene  Health condition of prospective mothers  Lack of access to medical services during prenatal, natal & postal period  Harmful disabling traditional practices & civil strife  Genetic anomalies  Note : Most of them are preventable
  • 4. Profile & prevalence of disability in Ethiopia MO-42 % VI-30 % HI-15 % ID-7%% BE-2% 2 % MU-4% 4 % Base Line Survey [ 1995]
  • 5. What do CwoDs do in Early Childhood period during sub-Saharan Africa?  Most children ( 3 & above) are at home and out-side home out in the field engaged in different tasks /gender based analysis/ The girl child - Mainly engaged in domestic tasks such as house hold chores, errands, cooking ,cleaning and taking care of siblings - Fetching water & fire wood
  • 6. Children in the range of 3-6 looking after cattle in Ethiopia
  • 7. What do CwoDs do in Early Childhood Period in sub-Saharan Africa? Cont… The boy Child  Boys are mainly engaged in out-side tasks such as herding cattle & assist in farming  In the urban areas boys and girls work as daily laborers, vendors (selling cigarettes, lottery, news papers, food items etc.)  In pastoral areas children move from place to place with their parents & clans
  • 8. What do CwoDs do during Early Childhood period in sub-Africa? Cont…  Limited access to early childhood education – Community-based – Faith-based: Traditional & Modern preschools – Public -based: Zero classes attached with primary schools/Government owned KGs – Private : International/local Note : Almost all of them them are not accessible to children with disabilities
  • 9. Zero Classes(preschools attached to primary schools – New beginning
  • 10. What do CwDs do during Early Childhood Period in sub-Saharan Africa?  The conditions of CwDs varies based on the nature & severity of the problem as well as the economic conditions of the family  Children with severe intellectual disabilities, multiple disabilities and cerebral palsy and other chronic health conditions stay at home idle
  • 11. What do CwDs do during early childhood period in sub-Saharan Africa? Cont… – Blind children are engaged mainly in domestic house hold tasks – Children with language disorders, children with mild intellectual disability children with hearing impairment (deaf & hard of hearing) , & children with low vision are engaged in the domestic and out-side tasks like children with out disabilities. Note: presence of inclusion out-side school
  • 12. What do CwDs do during early childhood period in sub-Saharan Africa? Cont…  CwDs are taken for treatment by their parents mainly by mothers to religious places as well to different traditional healers.  Several of them are engaged in begging around churches, mosques and on the street.
  • 13. Conflicting Conceptions about Early Childhood in Ethiopia Metaphors conveying the importance of early care and intervention:  “ Lejen be tut ehilen be tikiment” [ As the right time for harvest is on the month of October; the time for shaping the child’s behavior is during the period of breast feeding]  “ Zaf belejenet yetarekal” [ As straightening a tree during its nursery stage is easy; it is easy to mold the child’s behavior
  • 14. Conflicting conceptions of Early Childhood in Ethiopia cont… Metaphors related to discouraging interacting with children :  “ Zemta Worke New ” (Remaining quite is highly appreciated )  “ Ke lej atchawet yewogahal benchet” [don’t play with the a child, if you do he will poke your eyes ; discouraging from playing or interacting with children ]  “ Ke Le Yeg wle Lej Hone ” [ one who associates with child will be considered as a child ]
  • 15. Conflicting conceptions of Early Childhood in Ethiopia Metaphors related to differential treatments:  “ Le Lej shero le awake doro ” [give a child an ordinary food ; but a quality for an adult, discriminating the child from dining quality food like that of the adult]  “ Lej ena fit ayeberdewum” ( it does not matter if the child does not properly dress, he/she does not feel cold like that of a human face)
  • 16. Traditional practices of Early Childhood Care  Useful Practices -Breast feeding( lactating), & strong emotional attachment/ frequent physical contact mainly with the mother -Communal up-bringing, that is, Involvement of the extended family, neighbors & the community in child care, character formation & protection from any from of abuse 
  • 17. Traditional practices of Early Childhood Care  Useful practices & resources cont… -“ Gudifecha” Adoption of abandoned children - Sibling take-caring (child to child) -Story-telling traditions , availability of different types of stories, games, playing materials etc.
  • 18. Traditional practices of Early Childhood Care  Harmful Practices  Milk teeth extraction, tonsillectomy, female genital mutilation, mutilation of the skin in the forehead, eyebrow of their babies etc.  Prevalence of corporal punishment at home and in schools  Verbal abuse such as yelling, deploring, cursing, terrifying & chastising for shaping children’s behaviors  Note: Prevalence of derogatory & dehumanizing terms addressing CwDs
  • 19. Traditional practices of Early Childhood Care  Harmful Practices cont… -Discouraging children from sitting & discussing with adults -Prevalence of early marriage, abduction & child labor -Limited role of fathers on early child care -Large family size & lack of family
  • 20. Conceptions about disabling factors & CwDs  Wrong deeds & being cursed  Possessed by evil spirit {subject to neglect & rejection}  Unable to learn/underestimation {subject to charity & dependency}  Hopeless and incompetent {overprotection ) Note: The negative attitudes have been recognized as more disabling than the disability per se !!
  • 21. Early intervention practices to cure or offset the impact of disability  Religious Intervention practices -Deep prayer and submitting to readings of different religious texts, -Sprinkling or drinking of holy water, -Swallowing blessed food and gelling blessed materials “eminet “on the body etc.
  • 22. Early intervention practices to cure or offset the impact of disability cont…  Secular Intervention practices  Herbal medicine  Amulet to hang on the Neck  Indigenous psychotherapy  Indigenous physiotherapy
  • 23. Inclusive Education : Roadmap to the Education of CwDs in Ethiopia
  • 24. Inclusive Education : Roadmap to the Education of CwDs in Ethiopia  CwIDs  General Classroom
  • 25. Reflections  Develop and introduce cost effective inclusive ECCE programs that could accommodate the needs of diverse learners.  Sensitize, parents, teachers, children & the community about useful and harmful childrearing practices.  Educate parents & teachers about child development, disability and care.
  • 26. Reflections Cont…  Promote school-parent partnership in the prevention, detection, assessment & intervention of children with disabilities.  Compile local children stories, methods of story-telling, children games & playing materials etc., & cross-fertilize in the preparation of ECCE programs as teaching -learning materials.
  • 27. Benshangul –Gemuz /Pawe /Hot and remote Area in Ethiopia ,2011 Thank you !!