By Nation Reporter
ZAMBIA Open Community Schools (ZOCS) says it is mandated to provide education to orphans and vulnerable children, especially girls and children with special needs most of whom are found in community schools around the country.
Speaking during the dissemination meeting on Government policy on inclusive education and disabilities in Lusaka yesterday, ZOCS acting executive director Hector Swazi said in 2015, his organization partnered with the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) to implement a project aimed at increasing access of learners with special education needs to quality education.
Mr Swazi said the project was implemented in Luanshya, Kitwe, Chingola and Chililabombwe districts on the Copperbelt.
The objectives included increasing access to education for 100 learners with special education needs, to improve the quality and retention of the learners in 10 schools as well as to improve Government and community support in five districts of Copperbelt Province.
Mr Swazi explained that they were major activities that were implemented by the project include, conducted training in delivery methods for inclusive education to 30 teachers from 17 community schools in Kitwe, Chingola and Luanshya districts.
He said assistive devices were provided to learners with special education needs and disabilities to 24 learners in order to enable them to equitably access quality education and 132 parent community school committee (PCSC) on the Copperbelt province.
Mr Swazi also said ZOCS conducted a research on the adequacy of available Zambian government policies on inclusive education for learners with special educational needs and disabilities.
And Mr Swazi has since appealed to ministry of general Education to take affirmative action in ensuring that activities started by the project are sustained in accordance with the sustainable development goal number four.
Mr Swazi urged the participants to engage with ministry of general education and consider the welfare of thousands of children particularly the orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) and children with special education needs and disabilities is at stake.