By Staff Reporter
Windhoek, August 21 – Dagbreek School, a distinguished institution dedicated to serving children with intellectual impairments, joined forces with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH to host a thought-provoking half-day event on August 16th. The event, held under the theme “Equitable Education for All: Fostering Inclusivity,” convened esteemed speakers, experts, and stakeholders to engage in insightful discussions aimed at nurturing an inclusive educational environment.
The setting of Dagbreek School provided an ideal backdrop for these conversations, centred around constructing an educational system tailored to the diverse requirements of every learner. Among the participants were Hon. Alexia Manombe-Ncube, Deputy Minister of Disability Affairs, educators, advocates, government officials, and disability affairs specialists.
The event commenced with a warm welcome from Mr. Eddy Alukolo, Head of Department (HOD) at Dagbreek School. Mr. Alukolo underscored the institution’s unwavering dedication to delivering quality education and support to intellectually impaired students. His opening remarks resonated with the event’s theme, emphasizing the paramount importance of inclusivity in upholding each learner’s entitlement to an equitable and comprehensive education.
Hon. Alexia Manombe-Ncube, the Deputy Minister of Disability Affairs, delivered a compelling keynote address, focusing on education’s power to grant access and effect tangible transformations in the lives of children with disabilities. She highlighted how education empowers individuals with disabilities, rendering them less vulnerable, amplifying their voices, and unlocking opportunities that were previously out of reach. In line with her message, she shared a poignant quote: “Accessibility is being able to get into the building, Diversity is getting invited to the table, Inclusion is having a voice at the table, Belonging is having your voice heard at the table.”
She went on to commend Dagbreek School for bridging the gap between theory and practice by identifying crucial life skills and exemplifying equity in action.
A pivotal component of the event was a panel discussion that brought together diverse perspectives and voices. Esteemed experts and advocates engaged in a thoughtful exchange, illuminating the multifaceted challenges and prospects inherent in fostering equitable education for all. The panel included:
– Dr. Aune N. Victor, an education specialist from the United Nations.
– Ms. Agnes Hausiku, a passionate advocate for youth with disabilities.
– Dr. Emma Nangolo, Dean of Students at the International University of Management (IUM).
– Ms. Lydia Matheus, a teacher from Dagbreek School.
Dr. Aune Victor delved into the challenges of policy implementation, raising pertinent questions about involving the right stakeholders during the drafting process. She stressed the necessity of comprehensive, cost-effective implementation plans to ensure policy effectiveness.
Ms. Lydia Matheus shared an inspiring initiative from Dagbreek School called the “job attachment” program. This innovative endeavour identifies students’ strengths and skills, enabling them to secure employment after leaving school. Ms. Matheus emphasized the importance of practical, hands-on experiences to equip students for success in the real world.
The lively discussions bore witness to the collective commitment to achieving educational inclusivity, captivating the audience with profound insights and experiences shared. The event concluded with closing remarks from Miss Rachel Shiweda, Technical Advisor from GIZ. Ms. Shiweda commended all participants for their efforts and reaffirmed GIZ’s dedication to supporting initiatives that champion inclusivity and equal access to education.
As society strives for a more inclusive future, events of this nature play an integral role in fostering understanding, collaboration, raising awareness nationwide, and accelerating positive change throughout Namibia.