30 more parents graduated from the third Ta’alouf parents training programme and 66 teachers are about to graduate from the programme’s teachers’ course, strengthening the foundations of a community that is ready to embrace social inclusion. Ta’alouf (harmony in Arabic) is Al Jalila Foundation’s flagship community programme, which provides behavioural training to carers of children with special needs.
Dr Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, CEO of Al Jalila Foundation, is very optimistic about achieving a future where children with special needs get equal opportunities to contribute to the nation’s society and economy. “Ta’alouf has played an integral role in developing an inclusive and cohesive society, in line with the Dubai Plan 2021. When we first established the programme, social inclusion was a long-term vision. We started with 50 parents of children with special needs and didn’t take long to realise how big a gap we were filling, and how important this was to the society at large. Demand for the programme was beyond expectations and many donors stepped in to support it. As a result, we expanded Ta’alouf to offer a teachers’ training course, and soon, we will expand it further to reach other carers to ensure that children with special needs are well supported and empowered to reach their potential wherever they are.”
“To date, we have invested more than AED 2.5 million in the programme, and the outcome is more than 226 carers are well equipped to support the development of children with special needs at home and at school. We will continue to invest in Ta’alouf in the coming years to further promote and support social inclusion.”
Ta’alouf training for parents is in partnership with the British University in Dubai. It equips parents and guardians of children with special needs with the knowledge and skills required to respond to the needs and behavior of their children more effectively. To date 160 parents have graduated from the programme.
Ta’alouf training for teachers is in partnership with Zayed University and is endorsed by the Ministry of Education and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority. It aims to train principals and teachers in private and government schools on best practices pertaining to inclusion of children with special needs in the education system, and to encourage mainstream schools to accept more children. The first cohort began in October 2014 with 66 teachers from 22 schools, with a second course scheduled to commence at the beginning of 2015.
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