National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Public Trust has called for concerted and collaborative efforts among parents, government and development partners in advancing and promoting inclusive education.
Dedza NICE District Civic Education Officer (DCEO) Daniel Malango observed that lack of collaboration remains one of the challenges affecting the Special Needs Education (SNE) sector in Malawi.
Malango made the remarks at Mua School for the Deaf [in Dedza] on Wednesday during a Legal Literacy Session NICE jointly conducted with the Malawi Law Commission.
Nice in partnership with the Malawi Law Commission are implementing a programme known as Legal Literacy, which aims at enhancing the knowledge of gender-related violence.
The programme, which United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is funding, also aims at tackling all forms of violence against children in an effort to create a safe environment for their education.
Malango stated that challenges such as the culture of discriminating against children with disabilities, unavailability of teaching materials, shortage of qualified SNE teachers and inadequate schools that provide inclusive education can easily be resolved if stakeholders can agree to work together.
“Collaboration by stakeholders is key in ensuring that every child, including children with any form of disability, must enjoy their right to education. Of course, we have learnt that some parents keep children with disabilities at home because they feel that the children won’t benefit from schools. This is a violation of the children’s right to education and, as stakeholders, we must ensure that no parent hides his or her child with disability in the backyard while their friends are learning,” he said.
Head teacher for Mua School for the Deaf, Henry Chiwaya, lamented lack of parental care and support to children with disabilities in the area.
Meanwhile, NICE and Malawi Law Commission have intensified awareness campaigns on specific laws and policies that protect the rights of children.