The 3rd of December marks International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The Government of Samoa, through the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture (MESC), has long had a commitment to strengthen inclusive education programs through greater support for children with disabilities and those with learning delays. It is a broad issue that cuts across all education sectors from Early Childhood Education to Primary and secondary education, Vocational education, Post School Education Training, adult education and teacher education. MESC recognizes inclusive education as a process of addressing and responding to the diverse needs of all learners through adjustment and enhancement of the system of education, in terms of where (access), what (content) and how (strategies) we teach.
This year’s theme “Building Back better: towards a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World” highlights the importance of providing optimal educational opportunities for all. As educators, we need to embrace and value the diversity of our children in our homes, schools and community; giving them the best opportunity to make positive changes in this difficult world.
We acknowledge the continuous support of our donor partner the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, our Government, Mission and Private partners and the many representatives from community organizations who participated in the consultation. You are all to be congratulated. May Samoa have a safe and wonderful International Week of Persons with Disability connecting with these special members of our communities.