Inclusion Begins With Education

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London, UK, January 19, 2010


UNESCO's  annual Global Monitoring Report on Education for All, "Reaching the Marginalized", released today, warns that the global economic downturn risks creating a generation of children whose lives have been irreparably damaged by being denied their right to education and identifies children with disabilities as amongst the most vulnerable.   


"The key message to emerge is that failure to place inclusive education at the centre of the EFA agenda is holding back progress".


The report describes an "inclusive education triangle" consisting of the learning environment, accessibility and affordability and entitlements and opportunities and recognizes that for quality education governments need to revise their approaches to teaching, learning and curriculum development.  It also points out that "ability groupings", or streaming students according to academic achievement seldom help the marginalized.


Several of the recommendations in this 2010 report are consistent with recommendations contained in Inclusion International's recent global report on inclusive education "Better Education for All When We're Included Too" published by the University of Salamanca Spain and released last November.  These include:


  • setting equity targets for all EFA goals
  • gathering better data on those children who are not in school or who leave school early and why
  • mobilizing international cooperation
  • improving cooperation amongst ministries


Diane Richler, President of Inclusion International commented, "We are pleased to see UNESCO recognize that unless education systems are transformed to include all children, including children with disabilities, the goals of Education for All can never be reached."  However, the report fails to address the fact that in many countries social ministries rather than Ministries of Education are responsible for children with disabilities.  "Until there is one ministry and one school system responsible for all children, inclusive education will remain a dream." she said.

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For more information contact:


Connie Laurin-Bowie, Executive Director, Inclusion International

conniel@inclusion-international.org

www.inclusion-international.org

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