The following polices, acts and guidelines indicate that post 1994 there has been an emphasis on the need for a significant paradigm shift towards inclusive education (DoE, 1997). On paper and in policies there has been a paradigm shift towards inclusion. Furthermore teachers and South African society in general are more open to inclusive practices in theory.
Please click on the policy name to view the document.
The SIAS policy (screening, identification, assessment and support) (Department of Education, 2014) states ALL schools in South Africa are inclusive learning centres and that ALL learners should have access to quality education despite their barriers to learning. The SIAS policy clearly outlines the steps teachers need to take when identifying learners with barriers to learning in their classroom. This process is implemented at different levels and includes the teachers screening all learners for barriers to learning, working with parents and adapting methodologies, teaching style and assessment procedures in order to support the learner in an inclusive way. This policy is in its early phase of application but ALL schools should be aware of it and start following its procedures. I encourage all parents to inquire at your child’s school about how they are implementing the SIAS policy as parents are meant to play a collaborative role in this process along with the teacher who takes the role of case manager.
The CAPS Guidelines document provides an in depth review of ways in which teachers can support learners with barriers to learning within their classroom.
This document focusses on all aspects of the school environment needed to ensure an inclusive environment. Some of these areas are: school management and whole school development, collaboration, professional development, classroom practices, the provision of support, curriculum and assessment, material resources and physical accessibility, and partnerships with families, communities and district networks.
Education White Paper 6 on Special Needs Education: Building an Inclusive Education and Training System (2001) outlines how discriminatory practices and imbalances of the past can be corrected, and the principles of inclusion promoted, by focusing on overcoming barriers in the system that prevent it from meeting the full range of learning needs. White Paper Six (2001) includes a change in attitudes, teaching, assessment methods, equipment and curriculum to reflect inclusive values.