Government urged to ensure schools develop and implement Disability Inclusion Plans
Harare (New Ziana) –The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education should ensure that all schools develop and implement the School Disability Inclusion Plans (SDIPs) as required by the Education Amendment Act of 2020, the Deaf Zimbabwe Trust said on Wednesday.
The section provides that for the purpose of approving fees, the Secretary shall require every registered school to submit a plan highlighting the way it shall advance the rights of pupils with disabilities.
The Trust said this in its message to mark the International Day of Education which was commemorated on Tuesday under the theme “to invest in people, prioritize education”.
“SDIPs address key areas that include the creation of inclusive schools, enrolment of learners with disabilities, support structures for children with different disabilities, methods of funding the SDIP, strategic partnerships in fostering inclusion as well as implementation and evaluation of the SDIP,” it said.
“A Disability Inclusion Plan therefore, helps to generate a universal design which involves creating facilities, build environments, products and services that may be used by children with disabilities to the greatest extent possible, thereby facilitating access to quality and inclusive education by learners with disabilities.”
The Trust also reminded the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education to finalise and operationalise the Inclusive Education Policy, which it said continued to exist in draft form since 2019.
It said without inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong opportunities for all, developing countries like Zimbabwe would not succeed in achieving gender equality and breaking the cycle of poverty that was leaving millions of children, youth and adults behind, especially those with disabilities.
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 24 January as International Day of Education, in celebration of the role of education for peace and development.