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.