Africa Jan 18, 2017
On a cloudy morning, students dispatch from an assembly point to their classrooms. This is at Westmont High School located in Otjomuise residential area in Namibian capital Windhoek, one of the schools designed to cater for all learners, regardless of their physical disabilities.
Brian Pieterse is the school principal. He is not disabled but understands the plight of children with disabilities.
“It is my passion and job to make sure the education we provide is inclusive to all and is of quality,” said Pieterse, school principal of the newly constructed government school.
“I am glad that the school is designed to cater for all learners, with disabilities or not. For instance, our ablution facilities and school grounds are adjusted to cater for learners with mobility disabilities,” said Pieterse.
Westmont High School is one of the newly constructed government school designed to cater for all learners, in efforts to provide inclusive quality education to all citizens.
This is made possible through an architectural design model of new school buildings to ensure school and learning environments cater to children with disabilities as Namibia moves to provide inclusive quality education, said Anna Nghipondoka, Deputy Minister of Education, Arts and Culture.
“Our aim as a government is to ensure that no Namibian child is left out on the opportunity to receive an education in a conducive learning environment,” said the deputy minister.
Meanwhile, according to Nghipondoka, the Ministry has over the years experienced the lack of conducive school grounds for children with disabilities, hence the move to start from birth and development of new school infrastructures.
A recent national review shows that Children with special educational needs are at risk of being excluded from educational opportunities.
“Disability prevents many children from attending school either because access to classrooms is restricted or because of the stigmatization of disability,” reads Namibia’s School-Drop Out and Out-of-School report by UNICEF and Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture.
“This is a challenge and trend we would like to address,” said Nghipondoka. Enditem