Inclusion more important than ever

13 April 2021 | Opinion

Herman Katjiuongua

Our sense of belonging has taken a tremendous knock since Covid-19 reared its ugly head. We have been cut off from our daily lives, our normality and from our friends, family, colleagues and school mates. Even our daily micro-interactions have been compromised. There’s been little engagement with cashiers, shop staff, or the many interactions we took for granted as participants in everyday society.
Now spare a thought for people and children whose lives are already more challenging for whatever reason. Perhaps they have a hearing impairment, are physically challenged in some way, or simply struggle because they are introverts who have difficulty making friends or feel they are not embraced in the same manner by society as they believe everyone is.
This means they may feel left out, not part of “the club” and certainly don’t feel included.
Social inclusion or “inclusivity” is something that we don’t really speak about much, but now that we have all been somewhat removed from society because of Covid-19, it has become a point of discussion and a concept to be more closely examined.
Isolation is something that we have all experienced in one way or another. As renowned international speaker Elaine Hall said: “Inclusion elevates all”. With this she is making a point about how society is there for everyone and if everyone is not included, we do not benefit from peoples’ participation in society.

At school level
If we look at school learners, we hope to see happy children, all playing, running, learning and having fun together. However, this is not how school and certainly not how the playground works. Kids form groups, include or exclude who they want based on any number of reasons. Just think back to your own childhood and how you managed within the school that really was nothing more than a “jungle”.
Excluding children, or people, can negatively affect them in the long term.
One way in which kids bond and form friendships, create support structures and develop social skills is through games and sports. It strengthens their mental health and makes them resilient and able to absorb disappointment as well as learn teamwork. If you can be part of activities it is a wonderfully inclusive place to be.
However, it’s not so simple. There many children who fall by the wayside.
It is important to focus on how they can become participants in everyday activities. Making the effort to include all children in activities and making them feel welcome and a valuable member of the group, gang or team is essential.
There should be no hurdle to them being included and certainly there are no excuses to not let them participate in sports, games or physical education.

IPESS
The Integrated Physical Education and School Sports (IPESS) project that is being rolled out across all 14 regions by the Ministry of Education Arts and Culture in collaboration with the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service and stakeholders in education like GIZ, has the promotion of inclusivity as one of its drivers. It endeavours to have boys and girls participate in sports, games and recreational activities.
There needs to and will be a major focus on getting and keeping children engaged that are differently abled; Nurturing and teaching that every learner has the right and need to participate and be included; A society where we can all participate, be part of the team in whatever capacity uplifts us all, as Elaine Hall stated.
Sports and games can be a great unifier and are great for both the mental and physical development of children. Do not let it be an additional way of excluding children who often already feel left out. IPESS and the schools, teachers and trainers are teaching these important concepts through the IPESS programme. Life Skills form the basis for well-rounded youngsters to become well-rounded and well-adjusted adults that contribute to an equitable society in Namibia.
*Herman Katjiuongua is the principal of Immanuel Shifidi Secondary School.

Similar News

 

Livestock considerations for the dry season

1 week ago - 29 April 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Erastus NgarukaMany farming areas in Namibia received a lot of rain compared to the previous seasons, recording above normal annual averages. Rangeland productivity...

Somehow intertwined, definitely unveiled

3 weeks ago - 15 April 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Natasja Beyleveld “To see a splendid kingdom fade away is far sadder than seeing a second-rate republic collapse.” (Translated from Japanese by Jay...

Digital Transformation and the Future: F = D +...

4 weeks ago - 13 April 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Sergio de SousaThe phrase ‘digital transformation’ has various definitions and perspectives. Regardless of the definition, it’s the intent behind the transformation that counts....

GIPF and member education

1 month - 12 April 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Amos KambondeSince March 2020, thousands of GIPF members were affected by the lockdown due to Covid-19.On an annual basis, GIPF implements a robust...

The dollar-rand peg: Time to decouple?

1 month - 30 March 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Carel Jordaan, RMB TraderNamibia’s sophisticated and liquid foreign exchange market plays a crucial role in its economy. Notwithstanding the country’s size, we have...

Sport creates equality – and it starts at school...

1 month - 16 March 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Jacobina Tangi UushonaThe month of March is when we celebrate International Women’s Day. But frankly, getting one day in March is not enough...

The Privacy Guide: Simple tools to keep you better...

2 months ago - 12 March 2021 | Opinion

Matthew Stern WhatsApp did a great job of awakening the user privacy and security debate earlier in the year, with their controversial privacy policy which...

The impact of Covid-19 on women

2 months ago - 07 March 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Sepo HaihamboAt the core of its purpose, commemorating International Women’s Day is aimed at celebrating women’s accomplishments as well as to honour their...

Don’t just acknowledge…celebrate women in IT

2 months ago - 05 March 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Ilana ErasmusMarch 8th is International Women’s Day – the one day in a year that women, their accomplishments and contributions to life, society...

‘NEEEB will do more harm than good’ – Team...

2 months ago - 02 March 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Pieter van NiekerkAdding its voice of concern to those of other industry and private-sector players, Team Namibia calls the latest National Equitable Economic...

Latest News

Chill with Windhoek Express

12 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

Recurring events• 07:00 Bio-Markt / Green Market at the Stephanus Church (Dr Kenneth Kaunda Street) in Windhoek until 12:00.• 08:30 The weekly Inspire Market features...

Government in catch 22 on...

12 hours ago | Local News

While acknowledging that the majority of Namibians rely on the national broadcaster for information, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila conceded that government cannot meet its employees’...

Murorua takes over BAN reigns

14 hours ago | Banking

The Bankers Association of Namibia (BAN) announced that Nedbank chief executive Martha Murorua has taken over the reigns as chair from Ester Kali, CEO of...

Bowling on a roll

14 hours ago | Sports

Namibia Bowling Association (NBA) president Michael Wells has expressed his pleasure at the improved performance of players at the recently held Namibia National Bowling Championships.The...

Virtual international training for local...

15 hours ago | Sports

Eight Namibian soccer coaches will take part in an international instructor’s course organised by the German Football Federation and Botswana Football Association to help improve...

Old Mutual under ‘10 strongest...

15 hours ago | Business

The 2021 Brand Finance report has ranked Old Mutual in the top 10 strongest brands, as well as in the top 100 most valuable insurance...

Fire safety measures every homeowner...

1 day - 11 May 2021 | Disasters

The recent blaze that unfolded along the Cape’s iconic Table Mountain was a reminder of the very real threat fire poses to homeowners. It is...

Conservancy feeds their own children

1 day - 11 May 2021 | Society

For a second consecutive year, members of the N≠a Jaqna Conservancy are using part of their income to provide food to all registered schools and...

More support of Nam’s sustainable...

1 day - 11 May 2021 | Infrastructure

Namibia’s finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi and German ambassador Herbert Beck signed an agreement on financial cooperation for loans between the two countries earlier this week.The...

Load More