LNFOD steps up pol­icy ini­tia­tives

Lesotho Times - - News - Lim­pho Sello

THE Le­sotho Na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of the Dis­abled (LNFOD) this week met with the Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing, Mokhele Mo­let­sane at his Maseru of­fices, as part of its ef­forts to ex­pe­dite the adop­tion of the in­clu­sive ed­u­ca­tion pol­icy to ben­e­fit learn­ers with dis­abil­i­ties.

The Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing has cur­rently work­ing on an in­clu­sive ed­u­ca­tion pol­icy to en­sure all learn­ers in­clud­ing those with dis­abil­i­ties have full ac­cess to the gen­eral ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem.

LNFOD Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor, Ad­vo­cate Nkhasi Se­futhi, this week told the Le­sotho Times that LNFOD has been col­lab­o­rat­ing with the min­istry, or­gan­i­sa­tions of per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties as well as aca­demic in­sti­tu­tions on a pro­gramme of in­clu­sive ed­u­ca­tion since Au­gust 2016.

He said the pol­icy would guide all stake­hold­ers in­clud­ing the min­istry on how teach­ers as well as learn­ers with spe­cial needs and their par­ents would han­dle in­clu­sive ed­u­ca­tion.

It would also fa­cil­i­tate the pro­vi­sion of decent ac­com­mo­da­tion for learn­ers with dis­abil­i­ties.

“The pol­icy will as­sist the gov­ern­ment to make its gen­eral ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem ac­ces­si­ble and in­clu­sive of learn­ers with dis­abil­i­ties,” Ad­vo­cate Se­futhi said, adding the pol­icy frame­work would also serve as a ba­sis for the al­lo­ca­tion of a bud­get.

Com­ment­ing on the cur­rent chal­lenges fac­ing chil­dren with dis­abil­i­ties in the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor, Ad­vo­cate Se­futhi said they lacked ad­e­quate ed­u­ca­tional re­sources due to the lack of a spe­cific bud­get al­lo­ca­tion.

He said the sit­u­a­tion was com­pounded by the fact that most spe­cial schools in coun­try were lo­cated in ur­ban ar­eas and some learn­ers had the oner­ous task of re­lo­cat­ing from their vil­lages to ac­cess the schools.

He said this was not an easy task be­cause of the fi­nan­cial im­pli­ca­tions.

“The other chal­lenge is the is­sue of phys­i­cal ac­ces­si­bil­ity be­cause of the schools’ in­fra­struc­ture where chil­dren with phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties are not able to ac­cess class­rooms or even toi­lets.”

He said like any child, those with dis­abil­i­ties had rights to ed­u­ca­tion and ed­u­ca­tion that is rel­e­vant and ac­ces­si­ble to them with­out any ob­sta­cles that might hin­der their per­for­mance.

He fur­ther said it was his or­gan­i­sa­tion’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure the speedy im­ple­men­ta­tion of the in­clu­sive ed­u­ca­tion pol­icy.

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