The National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) says it is committed to ensuring that there is inclusive higher education in Malawi.
NCHE Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ignasio Jimu made the remarks recently in Mponela, Dowa, when opening a stakeholders meeting on inclusive education.
Dr. Jimu said NCHE’s Strategic Plan (2015 -2020) has a number of activities to promote wider access to higher education, including ensuring that higher education in Malawi is inclusive.
Some of the activities according to Dr. Jimu, include to ensure that facilities provided in higher education institutions allow access for learners of different needs; ensure adequate provision of teaching and learning resources matching with requirements of learners with special needs; ensure mainstreaming of inclusive education in the higher education curriculum; ensure training of lecturers in inclusive education and ensure development of inclusive education policy in higher education.
NCHE also is also involved in ensuring inclusive education through its facilitation of the selection of students into public higher education institutions.
“One of the functions of the Council is to harmonise the selection of students to public universities. Serious discussions and interventions have ensued to increase access and improve on the numbers of those with various impediments accessing public higher education.
“Beyond admission, NCHE is also keen to ensure that infrastructure in all higher education institutions provides for access to persons with mobility and other challenges. We recognise increasing access, and inclusive access in particular, is a right that should not be abrogated,” noted Dr. Jimu.
The meeting was aimed at renewing stakeholders’ focus in matters of inclusive education with the anticipation that it would unravel the current situation of inclusive education in higher education, make proposals on how best NCHE and all key stakeholders in higher education can represent the cause of inclusive education particularly in higher education and therefore redirect higher education towards better inclusiveness.
Apart from NCHE, stakeholders at the meeting also included those from the department of higher education in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology; private and public higher education institutions and inclusive education experts.