11-13 October 2017, Inclusion Africa a regional event on inclusive education in Addis Ababa Ethiopia.
The objective of the two day event was to deepen the understanding of inclusive education among Inclusion Africa members and to synergize advocacy initiatives on inclusive education beyond the national level. Participants in the event included 11 Inclusion Africa members and representatives from Inclusion International, Ethiopian government, Africa Disability Forum, Light for the World and Handicap International.
The first day of the event the program was divided in three parts which included
- In-depth session on understanding General Comment 4 on inclusive education which was facilitated by Inclusion International’s Executive Director, Connie Laurin Bowie. In the session IA members had an opportunity to share rich experiences from their respective countries on the implementation of inclusive education and also foster a common understanding on what inclusive education is.
- Session two was on validation of the inclusive education baseline survey which was facilitated by Linda Ngina Lockwood on behalf of Elizabeth Kamundia. The baseline survey on inclusive education has been a yearlong study undertaken in 12 member organizations of IA with a view of collecting information on both practice and policy on implementing inclusive education in various African countries. IA members enriched the document by constructively giving final feedback to the document which is ready for circulation and dissemination.
- The last session of day one was on education advocacy: beyond the national level- developing strategies on how IA members can synergize and move together as a network which was facilitated by Richard Bennett. The session was quite interactive with IA members going into groups and coming up with concrete steps on how to move the advocacy initiatives to another level.
Day two of the event was highlighted by the presence from partners from the Ministry of Education in Ethiopia, Light for the World, Federation of National Associations of People with Disabilities in Ethiopia, Africa Disability Forum and Handicap International who all gave presentations on their work on inclusive education. IA members had the opportunity to engage with the partners on a meaningful discussion about the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in the various programs implemented by the partners. The partners welcomed the expertise of the IA members.
The two day event ended on a high note from a presentation done on behalf of IA by the Board’s Treasurer Fauzia Haji to the partners, spelling out strategies and thematic areas on how to work with IA members on inclusive education.