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All must strive for inclusive education - official

 All should strive for an inclusive education where students with disabilities are seen to be learning side by side with their able-bodied fellows at their localities.

Ministry of Basic Education’s Chief Education Officer, Department of Special Support Services, Ms Neo Habangana said this when deliberating on inclusive education policy during a Central District Council sitting recently.

Ms Habangana appealed to councillors, as members of some village committees to advise members on integrating special needs students into the mainstream education unlike the status quo, where special needs students were isolated at special needs units and schools.

She said time was ripe that, despite their disabilities, students without severe and profound disabilities were taught in the same classroom with their abled-bodied fellows.

She also informed councillors that special needs students who progressed well at special needs units were integrated into mainstream education as enshrined in the policy.

In fact, Ms Habangana found that some countries had already moved away from the special needs schools, save for instances of severe and profound disabilities.

She said the schools should adopt the social model of integration under the tag, ‘We Belong’ because at the end of the day all the students needed to be equipped with requisite skills for life.

The chief education officer said special needs teachers were equipped with skills of addressing diverse needs of the special needs students.  

However, she said special needs students should first be assessed by professionals to determine the path of education they could follow.

On that note, Ms Habangana conceded to shortage of professional assessors revealing that they were left with only three from the seven they had after the rest found greener pastures elsewhere.

The remaining professional assessors are based at Central Resource Centre in Tlokweng.

However, the chief education officer informed councillors that they had satellite offices like in Kanye and North East, where professionals would carry out assessments.

She said they want to open another satellite office in Central District.

To cater for more special needs students, she revealed that they would have a special needs unit in Letlhakane for the village and its catchment; Shoshong, Sefhare, Tonota and Nata, among others.

Quizzed about results since the implementation of the 2011 inclusive education policy, Ms Hbanagana said there was slight improvement even though she could not reveal exact figures.

She then hastened to say, “I don’t want to believe we will regress.  ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : SEROWE

Location : Manowe Motsaathebe

Event : Full Council Meeting

Date : Mar 06 Tue,2018


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