Our Constitution (Act 108 of 1996) founded our democratic state and common citizenship on the values of human dignity, the achievement of equality and the advancement of human rights and freedoms (Section 1a). These values summon all of us to take up the responsibility and challenge of building a humane and caring society, not for the few,
but for all South Africans.
In establishing an education and training system for the 21st century, we carry a special responsibility to implement these values and to ensure that all learners, with and without disabilities, pursue their learning potential to the fullest.
On 19 December 2014 Minister Motshekga approved the Policy on Screening, Identification, Assessment and Support (SIAS). The Policy has been developed over a period of ten years through a rigorous process of field testing and consultation. It aims at ensuring that all children of school-going age who experience barriers to learning, including those who are disabled, will be able to access inclusive, quality, free, primary and secondary education on an equal basis with other young people in the communities in which they live.
The policy aims at standardising the procedures to identify, assess and provide programmes for all learners who require additional support to enhance their participation and inclusion in school, making teachers and parents central to the support processes.
The successful implementation of the SIAS Policy will be an important step towards meeting the obligations of government in respect of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as ratified by Cabinet in November 2007, in terms of ensuring an inclusive education system at all levels (Article 24).