Inclusive education master plan validation to pave way for more access for students with special needs
The Ministry of Education and Government of Finland jointly organized a national conference on inclusive education in Ethiopia from June 14-15, 2016 in Addis Ababa.
The conference primarily aims to share best practices and lessons on the implementation of inclusive education regionally and nationally as well as support the realization of the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities through promoting the effective implementation of equal access to quality education for all.
The two governments have been working together in the education sector in Ethiopia focusing on improved access to quality education for children with disabilities and special needs through enhancing active learning method and developing skilled human resources in relevant areas.
Opening the national conference, Minister of Education, His Excellency Ato Shiferaw Shigute emphasized the Ethiopian government's commitment to expand education. He said that to achieve the goals set out in the Fifth Education Sector Development Program (ESDP V), we need to effectively ensure the participation of girls and persons with special needs who also have an important role in the country's socio-economic development.
The Minister reiterated that the ten year draft master plan is designed for children with special needs to provide them with accessible, quality, relevant and equitable education and training.
State Minster of General Education, Dr. Tilaye Gete stated on his part that misconceptions towards children with special needs and disabilities must also be changed to achieve the stated objectives.
Ambassador of Finland to Ethiopia Mrs. Sirpa Mäenpää, on her part noted that teachers need to have a basic understanding of special needs education to instruct students according to their needs and abilities. She added that General Education Quality Improvement Program (GEQIP) will avail additional school grants for students with special needs to identify innovative approaches and methods as well as to share best practices and learnings in inclusive education.
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