The inclusive Malawi project
The Inclusive Education project aims at addressing the challenge of limited access and retention of children with disabilities and girls in Mzimba and Mangochi districts in Malawi.
Despite Malawi being a signatory to progressive education frameworks at Southern Africa Development Committee (SADC), African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) levels, the country still faces problems of inadequate domestic funding on inclusive education; negative cultural and social attitudes towards persons with disabilities and girls; poor infrastructure and facilities that is fit for its purpose for special needs education (SNE) learners and girls; weak linkages between support systems such as Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), screening, guidance and counselling.
Furthermore, there is weak coordination among civil society organizations to align their education advocacy to optimise on the government commitments to binding global, regional and national education frameworks on inclusive education.
To address the above challenges, CSEC shall implement the Inclusive Education project using the following broad approaches:
- Strengthened capacities of CSEC Members, Secretariat staff, District Education Networks, and school governance structures in demand driven advocacy focusing on improving the learning environment; teaching and learning materials; increasing education financing; and elimination of harmful cultural practices that negatively impact children with disabilities and girls’ enrolment and retention.
- Improved inclusivity, coordination and collaboration of CSEC members in the targeted communities for improved access and retention of children with disabilities and girls.
- Enhanced CSEC’s participation and influence in national, regional and global fora and events related to SDG 4 & 5 and other ongoing GPE processes.
- Support CSOs linking and learning on global, national and grassroot level inclusive education advocacy.
The main goal of the proposed project is to strengthen CSEC’s engagement in inclusive and gender responsive education planning, policy development and monitoring to improve access and retention of girls and children with disability in Mzimba and Mangochi districts in Malawi by 2023.
This goal is premised on the understanding that one of the key components to ensure inclusivity and equity of the education system is for governments to deliver education as a human right using available frameworks such as the Consitution, SDG 4 as well as the National Strategy on Inclusive Education and National Girls’ Education Strategy. To this end, collaborative advocacy by CSOs to ensure that the government is accountable is an important step towards solving the problem being faced by girls and children with disability in the targeted communities and schools in Malawi.
An earlier phase of the project was implemented in 2020-2021 with support from Education Out Loud.