Flagship Program 7: SA-IEP
Southern Africa Inclusive Education Program (SA-IEP)
Under this program, the Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD), through its national affiliate federation of FDPOs, seeks to strengthen Government’s capacities in Southern Africa to increase access to quality Inclusive Education by learners with Disabilities at pre-schooling, primary, secondary and tertiary levels.
Tracking progress towards the attainment of the Education for All (EFA) goals indicate that the majority of countries in Africa will not achieve the EFA goals by 2015. According to the EFA Global Monitoring Report (GMR) 2013, an estimated 250 million children, the majority of whom are in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), are not able to read, write or count well even after spending at least four years of schooling.
This, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), implies that there is an education crisis in both formal and non-formal education – a crisis which if left unaddressed will undermine the countries’ ability to achieve not only the EFA goals but the overall sustainable development of the countries.
The situation is even complicated for learners with disabilities. According to the Study on Education for Children with Disabilities in Southern Africa published in November 2012 by the Africa Disability Alliance (ADA), children with disabilities in Southern Africa live with the effects of disability and struggle with a myriad of challenges that can be attributed to the absence of an enabling environment.
They are often deprived of resources and services that would enable them to access education which will contribute to their fullest development. Evidence collected through the study suggests that too many children with disabilities across the region still remain either outside of the systems that exist or are not provided with the support which they require in inclusive environments to learn and develop to their full potential.
SAFOD has, therefore, identified the following key actions and programmatic interventions in order to address the some of the challenges:
- Initiate quantitative and qualitative research into Inclusive Education in the Southern Africa in collaboration with SAFOD’s national affiliates, Governments, academic institutions and/or research institutions
- Build capacities of DPOs and the communities to monitor and evaluate the enrolment, participation and completion of schooling by learners with disabilities in Southern Africa.
- Strengthen and systematize existing initiatives/programs on Inclusive Education in the region.
- Enhance participation of stakeholders in the management and implementation of Inclusive Education programs in the region.
- Promote sporting programs for learners with special learning needs in the region.
- Monitor the implementation of inclusive education policies together with existing governments’ regulations and standards.
- Build the capacities of National Affiliates to organize and conduct advocacy campaigns on inclusive education.
- Evaluate and review regulations and standards in the provision of Inclusive Education in the region.
- Organize regular sharing platforms or forums on Inclusive Education such as seminars, conferences, colloquiums, meetings within the region
- Build the capacity of National Affiliates to be able to provide technical guidance on all matters pertaining to Inclusive Education policy implementation in their respective countries.
- Advocate for adequate special instructional materials and equipment within the inclusive education environments.
- Conduct regular updates on best practices for managing/implementing Inclusive Education, upgrading of equipment and materials to meet the prevailing standards of teaching and learning for children with disabilities.
- Conduct refresher programs for the Special Needs & Inclusive Education in-service teachers and other personnel.
- Build to capacities of National Affiliates to advocate for appropriate allocation of funds and other resources for Inclusive Education programs in their respective countries.
- Build the capacities of National Affiliates to advocate for adequate recruitment and deployment of Inclusive Education teachers/personnel in consultation with the relevant bodies.
- Initiate documentation of best practices and/or case studies on Inclusive Education in the region through the production of publications, newsletter/journals, video documentaries and online tools (e.g. website, databanks, etc.).