Recently, the Care and Support for Teaching and Learning (CSTL) team embarked on a mission across four SADC Member States – the DRC, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zambia. The aim was to build the capacity of five project schools and their communities in each of the countries, on how to conduct “community dialogues”�. These dialogues can be used as a strategy for soliciting and drawing out community-driven solutions that address the problem of sexual harassment and abuse of children and youth.
The training sessions were all very well coordinated by the Ministries of Education. Based on the active participation and commitment displayed by participants, it can be assumed the messages were well received and will be acted upon.
On behalf of the AmaZulu Football Club’s Community Trust, MIET AFRICA has developed facilitation guidelines for the life skills component of AmaZulu’s extracurricular soccer programme. These guidelines use Staying Healthy, an MIET AFRICA publication that is aimed at adolescents, and which addresses sexual reproductive health and wellbeing in a fun and interactive way. (Staying Healthywas developed originally for another of MIET AFRICA’s programmes, RHIVA – Reducing HIV in Adolescents.)
Then, on 4 December, two of MIET AFRICA’s master trainers conducted a workshop with the soccer coaches participating in AmaZulu’s programme. The workshop aimed to develop their life skills and content knowledge on sexual reproductive health, as well as their facilitation skills, and trained them on using the material with their learners.
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.
It has been a very busy first semester in the DRC, with the process of customizing regional documents to the national context needing to be completed before the end of the current phase of CSTL. A four-day validation workshop was held from 22-25 July, during which three teams intensively scrutinized the National Support Pack, the Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Framework and Speak Out! materials. The workshop was held soon after Mme. Yenga Sako Wivine’ was appointed Focal Point Person for CSTL, to replace M. Konga Bakombo Jose’, who was on sick leave.
The workshop was graced with the presence of an advisor to the Ministry, M. Bula Bula Joseph, and M. Odon Mulanda (Director Curriculum), which confirms the importance and seriousness with which the DRC Ministry accords to CSTL and CSTL activities.
The National Coordinating Unit approved all the documents, and a the letter of approval was signed by the Focal Point Person (Ministry),
In conjunction with MIET AFRICA, the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education is implementing a school-based programme known as Speak Out!, which is now in Phase 2. (Phase 1 began in 2012 in the Chongwe District in five schools – Chinyunyu, Chongwe, Kakumba and Matipula Primary and Mukamambo Secondary.)
At a National Coordinating Unit meeting in July, the regional master trainer gave an orientation about Speak Out! Phase 2 to representatives from various stakeholders (the MoE, CAMFED, Child Fund, Faweza, REPSSI and ZOCS).
Various members of the above group (i.e. the MoE, CAMFED and REPSSI) then assisted the master trainer with the school-level training at the five schools, which was done on 17 and 18 July. The purpose of the training was to conduct a refresher session on Phase 1 and an orientation to Phase 2 with the teachers, members of the Parent Committees and community leaders of the schools,
There have been a lot of activities in the latest phase of CSTL.
Following the sad passing of Theodora Cassamo, the Mozambique Ministry of Education (MINED) appointed another vibrant Focal Point Person, Arlindo Folige. A series of workshops were held to complete the work of customizing the National Support Pack, Conceptual Framework, MER framework and other documents to the Mozambican context.
Speak Out! Phase 2 was introduced, and has been warmly received at both national and school level. It focuses on prevention and management of sexual harassment and violence. It follows on from the great strides made in the first phase in 2012, during which people’s concerns about these issues were identified, and there was an increase in public debate about them. A number of cases were reported to the police, and through the establishment of focus groups, the schools and community have collaborated closely in the fight against this scourge.
Our CSTL programme (Care and Support for Teaching and Learning), which provides a comprehensive approach to addressing the barriers to teaching and learning that are associated with health – and poverty-related challenges, is being implemented intensively in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia.
Read the latest news articles on cstlsadc.com to find out how our Member States have incorporated CSTL into their education systems.
On 22-23 April a workshop was held in Swaziland, at which the Ministry of Education and Training, supported by MIET AFRICA and its consultant, Ms Eleanor Hazell, began the process of customizing the Regional CSTL MER framework to the Swaziland context.
The new MER focal person, Ms Nonhlanhla Shongwe has quickly grasped what needs to be done, and took a leadership role throughout the proceedings. With her leadership – and with the support from other people present, in particular Mr John Hlope (Acting Director: Guidance and Counselling), Mr Jabulani Shabalalaor (Director: EMIS) and Mrs Sthembile Mbingo (Diretor: SHAPE) – it should be possible to complete the customization within the allocated time. The team themselves are confident that they can do it, and remarked that “it is not that difficult after all”.
It will be vital for the team to consult with other stakeholders,