IESD Advocates Visionary Approach to Inclusive Education

… Lijimu says IESD is preparing to make a second major donation to Munali Special Education

By Francis Maingaila

Lusaka, Zambia24 (12-04-2024) – The Inclusive Education for Sustainable Development (IESD), reaffirmed the organization’s unwavering dedication to ensuring inclusive education for all learners.

John Lijimu, Board Chairperson at IESD conveyed to journalists that through strategic partnerships and collaborative efforts, IESD is steadfast in its pursuit of sustainable development goals via education.

He articulated IESD’s vision of a world where every learner, irrespective of background or abilities, has unfettered access to quality education, thereby fostering sustainable development and a brighter future.

Moreover, Lijimu stressed the significance of collaboration with the private sector, civil society organizations, and governmental bodies to expedite progress towards creating inclusive and sustainable education systems.

“Acknowledging the invaluable contributions of stakeholders, including companies and partners, IESD expresses profound appreciation for their steadfast support of inclusive education initiatives,” he stated.

Through donation campaigns and advocacy endeavors, Lijimu elucidated that IESD actively supports educational institutions catering to learners with disabilities, thereby cultivating inclusive learning environments.

Furthermore, he underscored IESD’s recognition of the media’s pivotal role in raising awareness and showcasing the triumphs of inclusive education initiatives to inspire further support and participation.

Rhonda Siampwizi, head of a school for visually impaired students at Munali Girls Secondary School, acknowledged government assistance in ongoing projects such as building renovations and internet connectivity.

“Nevertheless, challenges persist: parental acceptance, inadequate infrastructure, and outdated facilities impede student development,” she remarked.

Siampwizi advocated for skill development, stressing the need for specialized rooms for computer training and art. However, the absence of a library and outdated kitchen facilities pose formidable obstacles to educational objectives.

Siampwizi called for corporate support, emphasizing education’s pivotal role in mitigating social issues.

She urged a collective endeavor to afford opportunities for disabled children and to transform societal perceptions towards disability, asserting that education and corporate backing can metamorphose lives and foster a more inclusive society.

Gideon Chibuye, Vice President of the Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI), expressed gratitude for the opportunity to address the audience.

He attributed his enduring tenure with the company to its unwavering commitment to service. Chibuye implored continued support and encouraged individuals to pursue careers in entrepreneurship.

Highlighting the importance of supporting children’s education and development beyond financial aid, including mentorship and skill-building, Chibuye referenced his organization’s involvement in bolstering schools through initiatives like Future Industry, designed to empower students with practical skills.

Chibuye delved into policy issues surrounding education and stressed the imperative of aligning government initiatives with on-the-ground implementation.

He underscored the significance of private sector involvement and collaboration with educational institutions to effectively tackle challenges.

He concluded by affirming his organization’s steadfast dedication to working towards these objectives.

Ruth Nawakwi, the executive director of Inclusive Education for Sustainable Development (IESD), a Civil Society organization focused on promoting Quality and Inclusive Education for learners with disabilities, conveyed profound passion and gratitude for the support accorded to the organization.

She underscored the importance of meticulous consideration and study before implementing decisions and highlighted a pre-engagement meeting for an upcoming donation ceremony at Munali Girls Secondary School.

“The meeting signifies a commitment to inclusive education and support for learners with disabilities,” she affirmed.

Nawakwi extended sincere gratitude to all attendees for their participation in the event and pledged the organization’s unwavering dedication to ensuring access to quality education for all children, regardless of their abilities, is recognized and appreciated.

She further elaborated on the organization’s investment in research and meetings with head teachers to identify and address gaps in schools, ensuring that every student feels accommodated and supported in their educational journey.

The main event, a donation ceremony, is scheduled for the second of April 2024 at United Secondary School.

“This event aims to further bolster inclusive education initiatives and foster engagement among stakeholders,” she emphasized.

She underscored the importance of commitment to inclusive education and the positive impact it engenders on society as a whole.

Petronella Mkandawire highlighted the importance of valuing every individual, reflecting Pick n Pay’s ethos of inclusivity.

She cited a deliberate initiative spearheaded by Mr. Raymond Akaman in South Africa as a source of pride for the company, demonstrating its commitment to social responsibility.

Mkandawire emphasized that collaboration with IESD provides an avenue for Pick n Pay to meaningfully engage, particularly in mentoring and connecting with children on a personal level.

She elucidated that each store within a 200-mile radius is tasked with adopting a charitable cause, exemplifying the company’s commitment to corporate social responsibility.

Additionally, Mkandawire emphasized that collaboration with suppliers is indispensable for achieving shared goals and nurturing hope for a brighter future.

She underscored Pick n Pay’s ongoing support for Munali through regular contributions and a dedication to further engagement with the school and its stakeholders.

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