On the 15th of March, the South African president declared a national state of disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act – which included a national lockdown and closure of all schools. This situation required Inclusive Education South Africa and all other educational stakeholders, to adapt and become innovative. In these unprecedented times we stepped up to ensure quality teaching and learning continues and that no child is left behind? IESA gave input to Government departments with respect of impact and effect of decisions, closing and opening of schools and ECD Centres, gave input into protocols for returning to workspace and kept funders up to date with the realities on the ground.

Whilst difficult, uncomfortable, and disruptive, IESA embraced technology, strengthened its communications, learnt new skills, built partnerships, and innovated to reach hundreds of stakeholders both in the ECD and school space.  As an organisation we have introduced solutions such as a WhatsApp inclusion training workshop, launched a hotline to ensure teachers and parents receive support, developed localised learning resources, hosted online training – relentless to support teachers and caregivers to continue the training in the pandemic. IESA has embraced innovation as an organisation and maintained its quality service standards including successfully hosting its AGM online.

Inclusive Education South Africa (IESA) remained persistent, innovative, and flexible in ensuring all its projects continued both offline and online. Working with teachers remotely has proven to be successful in ensuring that we stayed connected with teachers via Video training, Whatsapp screenshots, animations and Google forms. Funders supported our innovation and our communities continue to benefit from it. This is a testament to the need for Inclusive practices in all spheres of life.

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