Introduction: The core business of the SEN Unit is to facilitate access to education for learners with special needs in mainstream education in Swaziland. Learners with special needs are all learners who experience barriers to learning and do not progress according to their potential because of barriers in their education, their homes and environment. The call for Education for All and introduction of Free Primary Education has provided more opportunities for learners with special needs to access school. An increase in admission of learners with special needs has been observed since 2010. However, there is still a lot that needs to be done to ensure that the learners fully and meaningfully participate in the teaching and learning in the schools.
Vision: To provide sustainable, enriching and relevant education programmes for all learners with special education needs.
Mission: To promote an inclusive education system where no child or youth with special education needs is excluded from education and training.
Overall Goal: To foster a sustainable inclusive education system where no child is excluded from education for whatever reasons. Key Objectives: 1) Increase access (presence) to education for all learners with special education needs from Educational needs from pre- primary to tertiary level 2) To ensure meaningful participation, learning and achievement for all learners with special education needs 3) Ensure that schools have the capacity to teach and support learners with special education needs Developments and Projects: a) Recruitment of three SEN Regional Inspectors For the first time since its inception in 1998 the department has recruited three inspectors who are in three regions namely, Lubombo, Hhohho (Piggs Peak) and Manzini. b) Pre-service Training Special Needs and Inclusive Education has been introduced in the three Teacher Training Colleges in Swaziland, namely, Ngwane, Nazarene and William Pitcher Teachers College. All graduates from the three colleges will have skills to identify and support learners with special needs in mainstream schools. Plans to also set up a specialized programme in Special and Inclusive Education are also underway. The Unit has also developed an in-service training programme for both primary school teachers and the plan is to have the programme accredited by one of the institutions. A number of teachers have already benefited from the in-service programme. c) Projects
Procurement of Teaching and Learning Material: The Government of Swaziland has a project which aims to provide specialized teaching and learning material for learner with special needs.
Modification of Infrastructure: The Government of Swaziland also has a project to modify infrastructure in schools to increase physical access for children with special needs.