Minister Motshekga conveys her appreciation to SANASE for prioritising Inclusive Education in South Africa


Minister Motshekga conveys her appreciation to SANASE for prioritising Inclusive Education in South Africa
Minister Motshekga conveys her appreciation to SANASE for prioritising Inclusive Education in South Africa

The DBE continues to make significant progress in terms of mobilising various education stakeholders in improving Inclusive Education in South Africa. Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga, congratulated the newly elected Chairperson of SANASE and commended the organisation for doing sterling work in addressing challenges relating to learning barriers across all nine provinces. Speaking during the SANASE Conference for Special Education held in Sun City in the North-West Province recently, Minister Motshekga said that the role of education managers had always been about laying a solid foundation for all South Africans to have access to basic education and training of the highest quality by 2030.

This occasion is central to the sector's work because it discusses inclusivity in basic education, which we know is linked to the universal right to education. The Minister further indicated that the basic education sector has made significant strides in its mission to build an inclusive education and training system. “I honestly, convey my appreciation for the support received by SANASE and its sister organisations to realise the right of everyone to equitable access to basic education. I thank you for focussing your energies on the most vulnerable learners, those with special education needs. The partnerships we share with various organisations are central to the success of our vision of ensuring that no child is left behind. Since the adoption of Education White Paper 6 in July 2001 on Inclusive Education, we have more than doubled the number of learners with special needs who have access to basic education. We call for out-of-school youth with special educational needs to re-join the basic education sector. Our call to bring everyone on board aligns with the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want. These two policy initiatives provide a robust framework for ensuring inclusive growth and sustainable development as a precursor to inclusive economic growth. We must be intentional about providing equal opportunities for all,” explained Minister Motshekga.

The Minister emphasised that the DBE and the private sector should continue to cooperate to ensure that learners with special needs were fully supported. “Globally, more than a billion people live with some form of disability, of whom approximately 200 million experience some form of difficulty in functioning. In the same breath, although rigorous interventions nations embark on, people with disabilities, in particular, often have poorer access to health, education, and economic participation. They are also exposed to a higher degree of vulnerability to violence and a lack of opportunities than people without disabilities. These vulnerabilities, including sexual violence, are often more pronounced in developing contexts, such as ours, where socio-economic complexities remain a significant concern. The White Paper enjoined us to conduct a nationwide advocacy campaign to popularise the prescripts of the policy, which we have done well. Secondly, it directed us to mobilise out-of-school children and youth of school-going age to take up their right to basic education. The report, outlined at the 2021 National Inclusive Education Summit, revealed that 137,332 and 121,461 learners, compared to 64,000 and 77,000 in 2002, are enrolled in special and ordinary schools, respectively. Thus, we have a dedicated capacity in all nine Provincial Education Departments (PEDs) to manage Inclusive Education guided by Basic Education experts based in Pretoria. For instance, we have established District-Based Support Teams and School-Based Support Teams to coordinate inclusive education support services for teachers and learners. As a collective, these professionals advance the ideal of Inclusive Education, share best practices and craft and monitor implementation plans for the sector”.

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