On 4 December 2018, the Agency was invited to a conference celebrating South Africa’s work towards inclusivity in education. Three South African universities specialising in training teachers in special needs education hosted a day of academic exchanges at the University of Witswatersrand’s Centre for the Deaf. Agency Representative Board member, Raffaele Ciambrone, from the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research took part here in a panel discussion on inclusivity in education.
The conference acknowledged two important days on the international calendar: International Day of Persons with Disabilities(IDPD) and its theme ‘Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness’ (3 December) and United Nations Human Rights Day (10 December). The partnership between the Government of South Africa, civil society organisations, the European Union and the European Agency has been dedicated to creating a more inclusive education system based on mutual respect, support and success for all learners.
The conference in Johannesburg also marked the launch of the University of South Africa (UNISA) research report for the Teaching for All South African Events Celebrate Developments in Teacher Training in Inclusive Education project: ‘The State of Inclusive Education in South Africa and the Implication for Teacher Training Programmes’.
On 5 December, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities was celebrated in Pretoria at the Center for Cerebral-Palsied Learners.
Since 1994, South Africa and the European Union have been partners in improving the education sector in South Africa. Currently, education is one of the three focal sectors which the EU is supporting in the 2014–2020 period. Within the Teaching and Learning Sector Reform Programme (EUR 26M), partnerships with civil society organisations, academic institutions and think tanks are funded. Those pilot projects aim at improving the training of teachers to make them more inclusive and more equipped to deal with learners with disabilities and/or special needs.