September is an important month for inclusion and education – the theme of the 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report due for release next March. Later this month, the International Forum on Inclusion and Equity in Education is being held in Cali, Colombia to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Salamanca Statement. This statement included a Framework for Action whose guiding principle was that ordinary schools should accommodate all children, regardless of their physical, intellectual, social, emotional, linguistic or other conditions.
In order to feed into the discussions and debates about the way that thinking about inclusion in education has changed over the past 25 years since this Statement, we are launching a new survey (French, Spanish, Chinese) to gauge the sentiments and thoughts of parents, teachers and students on the subject. These quotes will bring to life some of the research in the 2020 GEM Report, showing that this is a subject that affects peoples’ lives, and deserves greater attention.
The survey asks for examples of good practice in inclusion that parents, teachers or students have experienced. It asks what conditions teachers think are necessary for them to be able to teach all children, no matter their background, in one classroom. We want to hear from people who experience vulnerability and are at risk of exclusion and to help elevate their experiences – positive and negative – about feeling included in schools and universities.
We have a few activities running this month if you would like to get involved further. We are looking for champions in inclusion and education – teachers, activists, students, judges, politicians, parents, communities and school leaders – for instance, hoping to elevate what they do or have done as good practice for others. And we are running a photo contest on the theme of inclusion and education as well because pictures often speak far louder than words. Please take a look, take part, and share with your networks.