On July 19th, the Consultation for the Transforming Education Summit was held online.
The aim was to discuss what the Youth Declaration to TES should include.
Juan Cobenas, from our member in Argentina, Asociacion Azul, was invited at the intergenerational dialogue on transforming education with and for the youth. Intergenerational dialogue means a conversation between different age groups.
The panel was:
- Leonardo Garnier, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Transforming Education Summit
- Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education
- Jayathma Wickramanayake, Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth
- Kenisha Arora, SDG4Youth Network
- Juan Cobeñas, Asociación Azul, CIVICUS
Juan was asked this question: “Can you speak to the importance of centering marginalized and vulnerable youth, including young persons with disabilities, in transforming education? How can we ensure they are a priority in the Youth Declaration process and leading up to the Transforming Education Summit?”
Juan spoke about his own experience of exclusion from the education system, and about the value of inclusive education (IE).
He said that the right to Inclusive education is enshrined in SDG 4 as well as in Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its General Comment 4.
Inclusive education started addressing persons with disabilities in mainstream schools, and now it is a form of conceiving education for all.Juan Cobeñas
He also highlighted the need to:
- train teachers and the rest of the actors of the education system,
- allocate resources,
- guarantee supports and accessibility to the physical environment,
- communication and inclusion,
- enhance participation of students, and of the community in the design of school policies and practices.
Juan invited everyone to use the resources produced by the disability community to learn more about inclusive strategies.
Asociación Azul, through Juan and his participation membership in the CIVICUS programme, is preparing a set of recommendations regarding inclusion in education to present at the Summit.
These will include:
- All teachers should be trained to be able to teach all students.
- The need to allocate enough resources to transform schools.
- Provide human and technical support for students with disabilities and for teachers.
- Guarantee accessibility to the physical environment, to communication and information and reasonable accommodation.
- When individual planification for a student with disabilities is the best option, the student and his/her family should be part of the team.
- That inclusive education has to be provided with the same quality and availability to all students both in rural and urban areas.
- Promote participation of families, students and community members as essential partners and advocates for children’s inclusion.
- Make sure that all students participate from the general curriculum and can learn about the non-academic skills that are learnt at school in order to advance in future life.