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Alumni in Focus: Evans Lwimba, MSc Education (Inclusive Education)

19 November 2020

Alumni in Focus meets School of Education alumnus Evans Lwimba, to discuss the reasons why he chose the School of Education to continue his studies, his decision to pursue an MSc in Inclusive Education, and the impact of achieving an MSc has had on his future studies and career path.

Evans Lwimba, School of Education alumni who studied MSc Education (Inclusive Education)

Name: Evans Lwimba

Course Studied: MSc. Education (Inclusive Education)

Hello there, would you mind telling me a little bit about yourself?

I am a Zambian young man, profound Deaf but I can speak. My area of interest is the inclusion of the Deaf (Hearing Impaired) learners in mainstream school life through the provision of Sign Language as per the Social Model of Disability.

What made you want to study for an MSc?

I have a first degree in Special Education from the University of Zambia. However, it has little made significant differences in the education of learners with Special Educational Needs and/ or Disability (SEND). Again, Zambia has a policy on Inclusive Education (IE) but has no training programme in IE as a course on its own. Therefore, being a person living with a disability and teaching SEND learners, I felt duty-bound to read for an MSc Inclusive Education in order to equip me with necessary inclusivity skills that would contribute to the realisation of inclusive education in Zambia which is part of the global village.

Why did you choose the School of Education, University of Bristol, for your studies?

The University of Bristol, School of Education has been, historically, the centre for Deaf studies. Given this background, I was compelled beyond measures that I will receive the best education and help in my studies as a disabled student, and true to that I receive the best help and education that my own country failed to provide for me. I am greatly indebted to my lecturer/supervisor (Dr. Navin Kikabhai), SoE Disability Coordinator (Sam Rodda), and Andrew Warrington at the Disability Services for working tirelessly to ensure that all my learning needs were met.

How has completing your MSc helped with your career or further education?

Completing the MSc has not only enhanced my knowledge and skills in inclusive education but has also placed me in the position of trust in inclusivity issues as I have become a contributing source of knowledge and campaigner for the implementation of IE in Zambia.

And finally, do you have any advice or tips for people who are thinking about undertaking a Masters, or continuing their education?

The University of Bristol should reclaim its previous glory as a centre for Deaf studies to attract more Deaf students. Nevertheless, the University in its present status, has the capacity to meet the diverse learning needs of all students including those with different disabilities, and therefore is the best place of choice for any Masters programme, and is my choice for my Ph.D. training programme in the near future.

Learning During COVID-19 and Lockdown

The unprecedented coming of the coronavirus and the subsequent closure of physical learning and the switch onto the online learning mode had both merits and demerits. I lost physical contact with lecturers and colleagues which is vital in the education of the Hearing Impaired. However, I learnt a good number of things such as how to learn through Zoom and collaborate. Here, the University hired the note-takers who were taking notes from the live online learning, paste them in my inbox so that I can follow the on-going lecture/conversation, and later on emailed them to me as notes. This made my learning during the lockdown rewarding and contributed to the successful completion of my MSc.

Further information

To find out more about studying at the School of Education, University of Bristol, visit our website: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/education/

For an overview of the MSc Education (Inclusive Education) programme, watch this video, featuring Dr Navin Kikabhai:

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