Inclusive education is a matter of fairness
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Tirana 18 September, 2018- The number of children with disabilities in Albania enrolled in mainstream schools is increasing slightly, but many of them fail to develop skills, progress and participate to reach their full potential to thrive in life.
Commentary 4 to the Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability is a forward driving force in addressing some of the key issues in the inclusive education processes and education reforms in Albania. This is further supported by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that all children have the right to receive the kind of education that does not discriminate on the basis of disability, ethnicity, language, gender, capabilities, and so on. Sustainable Development Goals, Objective 4, requires schools, materials and public places to be made accessible for children with disabilities, this is part of the global goal” leave no one behind” which Albanian government is committed to.
The national forum of education, organized jointly by the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth, UNICEF, Save the Children and World Vision mobilized and informed a wide range of key stakeholders on the importance and vision of the inclusive education. It contributed to the development of a new path towards inclusive policy, culture and practice in the Albanian education system. It pulled together experiences related to Inclusive Education at country, region and EU level, recognizing the weakness of the country current system and creating a platform that will ensure collaboration among main stakeholders and use of inclusive tools and practices that eliminate barriers and ensure inclusion and quality of education for every child in Albania.
Globally, one in every ten children has a disability. Children with disabilities have often been excluded from learning opportunities. Many studies confirm that education of persons with disabilities is often poor quality, sets low expectations and limits learners’ opportunities. Unfortunately inclusive education is measured by ”access” to school and by “participation” in education. By contrast, a truly inclusive learning environment values the contribution and potential of persons with disabilities, and equips them with essential life, language and social skills.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.