Community consultations to improve awareness of inclusive education

The Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development (MWCSD) in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Sports & Culture (MESC), through the support of the Government of Australia under the Samoa Disability Partnership Program (SDPP), have hosted community consultations in Upolu & Savaii, to collate information and seek the views of selected; School Principals, Teachers, Community Representatives & Students with and without disabilities, to develop the much anticipated National Plan to Improve Awareness of Inclusive Education.
The plan focuses on identifying effective ways to highlight the importance of inclusive education, opening opportunities for children with disabilities to access disability-friendly education services & identify best practices to ensure teacher, students, parents and communities’ alike work together to improve social wellbeing and educational outcomes, for all children with disabilities.
In addition to focus-group consultations and one-on-one discussions with relevant stakeholders, part of this program is carrying out a roadshow to be led by the MESC with the support of the MWSCD, in an effort to start raising awareness but also highlighting relevant issues for consideration affecting the participation of children with disabilities in the education system and accessing service providers.
Having started in August, this program is set for completion by November which will be very fitting as it coincides with the MWCSD’s annual commemoration of the International Day for Persons with Disabilities (3rd December) and International Day for Human Rights Day (10th December).
As one of the SDPP’s major investments, the development of this plan will contribute to Samoa’s overall efforts to advance disability services but also improve its planning and support policies that are compliant with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
The completion of this plan will add to Samoa’s other significant achievements also supported through the SDPP such as the completion of the National CRPD Report 2022 and National Policy for Persons for Disabilities 2021-2031.