SAVE THE CHILDREN HOSTS THE NATIONAL INCLUSIVE EDUCATION CONFERENCE
Save the Children Malawi Country Office in partnership with the Malawi Government through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology-MOEST, recently held the 2018 National Inclusive Education Conference. Celebrated under the theme: Inclusive Education; Shaping the Future of Every Child, the event aimed at showcasing key achievements made in the implementation of the Inclusive Education in Malawi Program which the Ministry of Education will be institutionalizing for roll out across the country.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, the Minister of Education, Science and Technology Bright Msaka said the Government was very appreciative of the efforts done by different partners like Save the Children in trying to make sure every child has access to quality inclusive education. Msaka said the Government was also grateful to the Norwegian Embassy for channeling support through Save the Children.
“It is the duty of each one of us to ensure we secure a bright future for our children and one way of doing that is by making sure we give them quality inclusive education,” said Msaka.
The minister also said there was need for more concerted efforts in empowering special needs teachers for them to attend to children with disabilities well.
“Children with special needs require extra attention, it is therefore imperative that we should put in place deliberate mechanisms targeting the teachers, this will eventually trickle down to the learners.
Msaka said the importance of practicing “Inclusive Education” at all levels of the Education System in Malawi needs not to be over-emphasized. He said the Inclusive Education concept is very relevant and is in line with global sustainable development goals for improving education from 2016 to 2030 which are focusing on “Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education and Lifelong Learning for All”.
In her remarks Save the Children Country Director Tina Yu said Save the Children was committed to working with the government in ensuring all children access quality inclusive education.
“As Save the Children in Malawi, we have taken a lead in advocating for a number of policy and practice changes that will lead to a realisation of our vision - a world in which every child attains the right to survival, development and protection.”
She said Inclusive Education is particularly an important area because globally
Save the Children is focusing on deprived groups of children.
Currently, Save the Children is implementing the EVERY LAST CHILD Campaign whose objective is to ensure that no child is excluded from enjoying all rights.
And speaking on behalf of the learners, Tapiwa Shaba a Standard 7 learner at Kaphuta Primary School in Mzimba said the development and launch of the Inclusive Education Strategy is one of the biggest commitment that the Government of Malawi through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology-MOEST has demonstrated in enabling all children to learn in an inclusive environment.
“I believe we cannot have a successful inclusive education system by what we have merely planned and having documents in place. We need to commit ourselves into action and action is what we need. It is the mandate of the Government through your ministry sir, to make it clear that all schools have a duty to educate all children regardless of their diversities,
Let our voices be heard,” concluded Tapiwa before getting a standing ovation.
The Inclusive Education Programme is Funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the implementing partners are CCAP Blantyre Synod, CCAP synod of Livingstonia and Federation of Disability Organisations in Malawi-FEDOMA.