This manual, with accompanying participant handouts, is a guide to implementing Education White Paper 6 and building an inclusive education system. It has been developed through a partnership between the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education (Special Needs Education Services Directorate) and MIET AFRICA.
On 28 and 29 of November, MIET AFRICA hosted the last two of the days of the final inter-country meeting of the North/South Cooperation: Teaching for Inclusion and Democracy Project, which was held in in Gaborone, Botswana. This initiative is a collaboration between Stockholm University in the North, and Botswana, Namibia and South Africa in the South. Each of the southern country teams are represented by their Ministry of Education, a university and an NGO. Over the past three years, North and South have collaborated on research on democratic and inclusive approaches to learning. This research is intended to inform both pre– and in-service teacher education in Inclusive Education.
The main purpose of the meeting was to afford the opportunity to the country teams to present their case study research. It was a major achievement that, despite the research teams being comprised mainly of full-time university lecturers,
Parents building strong relationships with their children
MIET AFRICA’s Uthukela Inclusive Education in Action Project is field-testing the KZN Department of Education’s three-tier system for Inclusive Education. Three schools in the Uthukela District are involved, each representing one of the levels of support offered to learners experiencing barriers to learning. Lokothwayo Combined is the mainstream school, offering low levels of support. Madlala is the full-service school, which offers moderate levels of support. And Inkanyezi, the Special School as a Resource Centre, offers high levels of support. The field-testing entails building the capacity of schools, parents and communities to support all learners, especially the vulnerable, to access school, to stay at school and to achieve at school.
The project is currently conducting special training sessions for parents and caregivers, which focuses on them having strong relationships with their children. The parents and caregivers attending are responding positively to the idea that they can build their children’s self-confidence,
The Department of Basic Education and MIET AFRICA will on the 2 and 3 December 2013 host the Inclusive Education workshop under the theme ”Education for Democracy in an Inclusive Education and Training System”.
MIET AFRICA and Stockholm University are leading a North/South partner-driven cooperation initiative between South Africa, Namibia and Botswana in the south and Sweden in the north. The initiative, which is funded by the Embassy of Sweden, will see the participating countries represented through their ministries of education, representatives of one university and one non-governmental organisation per country. The project responds to the international shift towards an emphasis on creating inclusive systems of education, which has been promoted by several significant bodies and agreements, and is in-line with a human rights-based approach.
The purpose of the workshop will be to prepare all stakeholders in education, at all levels,
Angelina Motshekga, MP, Minister of Basic Education
As education systems internationally strive to improve access to quality education for all, amidst growing concerns about drop-out rates and youth unemployment, inclusive education is increasingly seen as one of the critical mechanisms to achieve real positive change.
When Cabinet approved the White Paper 6 on Inclusive Education in 2001, it set as a goal the full scale implementation of an inclusive education and training system at all levels by 2021.
After reviewing the progress made during the first 11 years of this period, the Department of Basic Education found that there has been significant progress in many areas of implementation. It is however, also felt that the progress should be accelerated and expanded across the system over the next few years towards 2021. Thus, I decided to declare 2013 the Year of Inclusive Education giving a clear mandate to all sectors within Education to take responsibility for ensuring that the constitutional right of learners with disabilities to access a full cycle of quality education and support is realised in special as well as in ordinary schools.
Following the declaration of 2013 as the year of Inclusive Education by the Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga, in December 2012, the Department of Basic Education, in collaboration with MIET AFRICA will be hosting a national workshop on 2 and 3 December 2013 under the theme: “Learning for Democracy in an Inclusive Education and Training System”. The workshop has also been arranged to coincide with International Disability Rights Day on 3 December and is made possible through funding from the Embassy of Sweden.
The workshop will be held at Sol Plaatje House, the head office of the Department of Basic Education in Pretoria and will be attended by researchers from Botswana, Namibia and South Africa as well as by invited representatives from Provincial Departments of Education, Teacher Unions, Disability Rights and Parents’ Organisations. The workshop aims to give concrete and resolute expression to the Minister’s December 2012 declaration.
MIET AFRICA and Stockholm University are leading a North – South partner-driven cooperation between South Africa, Namibia and Botswana in the south, and Sweden in the north. The initiative is funded by the SIDA (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency), and the countries are participating through representatives from their Ministries of Education, and representatives of one university and one NGO per country. The project responds to the international shift towards emphasis on creating inclusive systems of education, which has been promoted by several significant bodies and agreements, and is in-line with a human rights-based approach.
The initiative aims to strengthen understanding of what is meant by democracy and inclusion in educational settings, as well as attempting to address the question: What are the implications of an inclusive and democratic approach to teaching and learning on teacher education and development?
The initiative started in 2010 and through site visits to different educational institutions in the participating countries,
Learners in KZN are confronted with many barriers to learning that result in many children being excluded from quality education. The goal of our new project is to strengthen the KZNDoE’s Inclusive Education Strategy by piloting three levels of support provisioning in the three different types of schools: a mainstream school, a full service school and the Special School as Resource Centre (which provide low, moderate and high levels of support, respectively).
In particular, we will look at how the three types of school function in support of one another, but with a special focus on the Special School as Resource Centre.
We have already completed school level advocacy and training on the baseline tools at the three pilot schools, as well as advocacy with parents and the community.
Schools and communities are excited about participating in the project as it will contribute to improved access,
DBE and MIET AFRICA’s Inclusive Education Workshop
As a way of giving concrete expression to Minister Angie Motshekga’s declaration of 2013 as “the Year of Inclusive Education”, in early December the Department of Basic Education (DBE), assisted by MIET AFRICA, hosted a workshop on Inclusive Education. The workshop was made possible out of Embassy of Sweden’s funding for the North/South Cooperation on Teaching for Inclusion and Democracy project. (For background on the project, refer to our other article, Collaborating for inclusion and democracy). One of the main objectives of the workshop was for the country teams (i.e. from Botswana, Namibia and South Africa) to present their research on democratic and inclusive approaches to learning, which was done to inform the development of pre- and in-service teacher education.
The workshop was held at the DBE’s Conference Centre in Pretoria, and was well attended by officials from each of the provinces’