Government has a National Inclusive Education Strategy aimed at giving quality education to the marginalized children who are mostly excluded and secluded in mainstream education.
The marginalized children in the strategy include children with disabilities, orphans and street children Minister of Science and Technology Bright Msaka on Wednesday launched the strategy and said it will transform systems, practices and cultures in education in a bid to overcome barriers to learning.
“Hence, this strategy all marginalized children and young people, such as those with disabilities, orphans, girls in difficult circumstances, street children and children from poor households will have increased access to quality education, as direct beneficiaries; transforming from exclusion to inclusion,” he said.
He said through the strategy, the government stands to preserve special schools and resource centres and use them as a resource to
promote inclusive education, saying this will be done with strong collaboration with mainstream schools in a bid to uphold social
“At the same time, this strategy mainstreams special needs education interventions into the general education programmes and activities to promote inclusive education,” he said.
He said this entails redefining the roles of the special needs education department, district education offices, education division
offices, specialist teachers, regular teachers, special schools, among others.
Msaka said so far, the government has increased training of specialist teachers, is undertaking orientation of classroom teachers in
inclusive education and promoting community and school based advocacy as way to increase access to education by children.
Unicef representative Johannes Wedenig said the strategy is probably one of the most worthwhile efforts to undertake.
“The children addressed by this strategy are usually the most vulnerable members in any society because they are often invisible,
without a voice and largely stigmatized,” said Wedenig.
However, he said there were challenges in addressing the issue of inclusion.
“Close to a quarter of school age children are still out of school. ..The majority of these are secondary school are secondary school age
adolescents followed by working children,” he said.
He said for those enrolled in schools, reports several vulnerabilities such as with special needs at 2.4 per cent (primary) and 1.5 per cent (secondary) and orphans at 8.4 per cent (primary) and 12.2 per cent (secondary).