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Home The construction of individuality through a special pedagogy at the Center of Divine Providence, Zgharta, Lebanon

The construction of individuality through a special pedagogy at the Center of Divine Providence, Zgharta, Lebanon

  • Social Life : Personal and emotional
  • Asia : Lebanon
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From Handiplanet the Aug 04, 2010

A center for mentally retarded children, based on the construction of individuality
The Centre and its characteristics

The association began its activities in 1997. The center is located in the town of Zgharta, near Tripoli in northern Lebanon. It accommodates 14 children from 8 to 14 years in three separate classes grouped by age level. 14 years after they join the workshops where they receive vocational training. Children suffer most from a developmental disability and are mostly trisomics. Two of them, a girl and a boy-cerebral palsy.

The sociological environment of children are mostly poor families. Only 5 or 6 families have the ability to pay the $ 300, corresponding to annual cost. Children's education is funded in part by the Ministry of Social Affairs and largely by charity in our region, some fixed, paid every three months. We are working with the Christian Mutuality in Belgium and Caritas Salzburg in Austria.

Children are welcome from 8am and leave around 14h. The center provides a taste but they bring with them their meals.

It is the only specialized center of its kind to Zgharta. There are parallel classes integrated with a teacher specialized in regular school, but we already have capacity that our children do not. We are obliged to refuse children because our rooms are not big enough.

The purpose of educational choice based on the construction of individuality

In Lebanon, as in other countries perhaps, we see the disability before they see the person himself. This look is not rewarding. This is a problem for them, it locks them. We therefore decided to work the individuality of the person, through our educational activities but also with families and carers. For if some put their child at the center of family life and engage in activities, others are almost in a situation of exclusion. They do not really exist as individuals in their own right. Many institutions are working in the same direction, but the mental disability still remains a taboo. The construction of individuality is also a goal that we associate families.

Educational activity, the course of a day

The base is at the beginning of each school year, we are working on monthly and annual targets, and targets for each child and not for the class.
With this weekly program discussed in a team, the teacher organizes her day with several levels in class.

The day is divided into sequences morning:
-Prayer, 14 residents, we gather together at 8, then the ritual. Then:
And Mathematics
-1/2h For picnic at 9:45
-Battery life: work around brushing teeth, hygiene
- Recreation at 10:20

Then there are three periods of 20 to 25 minutes devoted to the great motor and fine motor skills.

Science is taught in even the most simple well prepared for them by teachers.

The big motor is done with equipment adapted. It develops laterality, balance and ownership of his body by the child.
The development of fine motor skills is done through various media, including computer,
Students have a document on all subjects covered throughout the week.

The PLA is made every three months by a review that gives rise to an incentive for students to motivate them, the first receive gifts.

We're back in the team results we book the teacher in order to adapt the program based on individual progress. A monthly meeting of two hours teaching team meets with the therapist and the director to take stock of the progress of each child and further refine the individualized project.
An educator is responsible for a class. We privileged classes, small, medium, large. The levels are different depending on specific needs. The program is suitable. This work is done with the coordinator for the entire year and for each month. The teachers then create records that will support. There is no specialized program in Lebanon did everything, even if we are in close connection with St Joseph University has a department of remediation. There is little connection between our center and the Ministry of Education that does aps control over our program.


Our team consists of three teachers, two of which are kindergarten and is a resource teacher. They follow the three classes daily.
There is a coordinator and a social worker. The latter is mainly involved in the link and with families. Parents come to meet for mediation, but it also makes home visits. It also has an administrative role, but is always aware of the curriculum in collaboration with the Coordinator.
A speech therapist comes 2 days a week in the institution. She made a statement with each individual child according to his case, and collaborates with the teacher.

The Ministry of Social Affairs provides training which we are required to attend for two to three per year. If we allow our means we participate in continuing education at the University St Joseph, who has an office in Tripoli, as well as conferences on the subject.

We have three classes which is also fine motor skills and a space left for the big motor. Educational games are purchased commercially and psychomotor apparatus. For the rest teaching materials are produced locally.
Field trips lead us to the farm, or camp in July with the support of the council, but is not guaranteed.

Lessons, assessment of the action

We can measure the work done with children who have grown up and are now in occupational workshops. Although they lack the knowledge to join the regular school at age 15, school learning basis to enable them to understand and assimilate the steps of a job.

We think we're in the right direction because it is within families that the changes are most visible. They are seen in another way, with real skills rather than just disabilities, with a role in the family. They are small results, but it keeps us going in this direction. During his visits home, the social worker reported that the next exchange, communication and behavior with the child are different.

We also have exchanges with students from another school who spend the day at the center. It is also an opportunity to change the children look different on these children. There is no single path to this great challenge. All means must be used. The exchange of experience is a great support to us. Draft translation
Canonical language : French
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