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Reaching out to the excluded

Nov 24, 2008

Save the Children’s new publication: Making schools inclusive – How change can happen is about the role of nongovernmental organisations in improving the education system for socially and economically marginalised children in society. This can serve as an important tool in realising the MDG target of universal primary education by 2015.

Making schools inclusive – How change can happen

Publisher: Save the Children, 2008

This book is about how non-governmental organisations (NGOs) can help school systems in developing countries become more inclusive. It shares experience of developing tools and approaches that have improved education for the most excluded children in society.

While the principles of inclusive education have been broadly accepted by many since the international Salamanca Statement of 19941 on special needs education, efforts to make these a reality have been patchy.

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The need for progress on inclusive education is becoming increasingly urgent in the context of efforts to achieve international targets such as the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of universal primary education by 2015, and the goal of Education for All (EFA) by 2015.

For such commitments to be fulfilled by governments, donors and others involved with education, strategies must be found to ensure that children viewed as ‘hardest to reach’ – the most socially and economically marginalised – can access good-quality education.

This requires the principles of inclusive education to be put into practice on a much wider scale, including in resource-poor or crisis-affected settings.

There is fairly wide consensus regarding the types of approaches that work well at school level to include children with particular needs or in particularly challenging circumstances.

However, clear information on getting such approaches adopted on a larger scale is less common. People working towards children’s rights in education may lack information about strategies that have been successful in changing education systems elsewhere. They may also lack information on how they could adapt such approaches to their own settings. Sharing experience of how schools have become more inclusive in different contexts can help to build confidence that inclusive education has many different realities, and can be pursued in tangible ways.

Save the Children’s inclusive education work has been developed by national teams working alongside parents, children, teachers and education officials over a number of years.

This experience has yielded a range of tools and strategies that provide learning on how to get faster, more sustainable progress towards schools that welcome and support all children.

It is much easier to set down inclusive education principles than it is to map out the changes needed throughout an education system to deliver on those principles. Often, it helps to look back at experience to see what changes have been needed in different settings to make inclusive education a reality.

This book aims to use the experience of Save the Children and its partners to help answer the question: ‘What changes are needed for school systems to become inclusive of all children?’

Source : UNGEI
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