Launch of the Exhibition “Support to the Quality and Access of Education”
Dear ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to thank the organizers of this event for the opportunity to be here today and once again to highlight the importance of education and the fulfillment of the children’s right to quality education in Armenia.
Together with the governments of the world we in the UN have developed a set of 8 goals, called Millennium Development Goals. The second of those 8 goals addresses the issue of education for all without exclusion.
Throughout the world the goal of “Education for All” can be achieved if inclusion is the fundamental philosophy of programmes and if the main approach to educational programming is based on human rights.
UNICEF Armenia office works closely with the Armenian government, Ministry of Education and Science to ensure that inclusiveness is one of the guiding principles for the education reform initiatives that are underway. Inclusiveness is a process that involves schools, communities, local and international organizations in the transformation of the learning and teaching environment. It is process that provides flexible models for enabling children to achieve their full potential and to be able to respond to a changing external environment. Inclusive education is not a standalone issue, it is central to the achievement of high quality education for all learners and the development of more inclusive societies.
But the government and the UN cannot make difference if there is no support from communities, families, teachers and children themselves. If we want to change something about our lives, we should start changing ourselves, changing our perceptions and values. If we want to build a prosperous future for ourselves and our country, the government should start investing more in education, communities should think from parents’ perspective, while parents and teachers should think from child’s perspective.
The teacher’s role is crucial in the current school reform which is focused on quality and relevance of education. For teachers to play the critical role expected of them it is important not only to be exposed to new teaching and learning methodologies but also be provided with quality teaching and learning materials. Even more, teachers might be supported to create appropriate teaching and learning materials for and with children. The pedagogical materials need to be relevant to all children’s learning needs and abilities; they must be culturally appropriate and value social diversity. Only then will they benefit children.
In that context, exhibitions like the one we are launching today are very important for experience sharing, networking and stimulating innovation. Education specialists are getting access to diverse teaching aids which will definitely enrich their practice and contribute to further improvement of teaching and learning environment.
On behalf of UNICEF I would like to welcome this initiative and hope that it will be yet another contribution towards the achievement of the Education for All goal.