Around 100 individuals from organizations of persons with disabilities, NGOs, groups of teachers and education specialists, and from the Government participated in the 3-day long Inclusive Education Visioning Workshop in February. This workshop was held by Inclusion International and a Russian NGO called “Perspektiva”.
The objectives of the workshop were to:
- Get acquainted with different scenarios of inclusive education for children with disabilities and their families in Russia and identify key challenges in the implementation of inclusive education,
- To study the role of international standards and mechanisms in achieving inclusive education in Russia,
- To contribute to the preparation of conclusions and recommendations for key stakeholders in order to increase inclusion in education for children with disabilities.
During the first day, Inclusion International’s President, Sue Swenson, moderated the event. Presentations on international mechanisms and tools on inclusive education were given:
- The GEM Report on Inclusion in Education 2020 and its Regional Report on Inclusion and Education in Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia;
- Inclusion International’s Catalyst for Inclusive Education Programme and the principles and frameworks that drive our work on inclusive education;
- The World Bank and Inclusion International joint publication “Every Learner Matters”.
This international segment was followed by a presentation on the main challenges towards the implementation of inclusive education from the perspectives of different parents’ organizations, NGOs and Academia.
Both sets of presentations were followed by active discussions among participants and presenters.
On the second day of the event, moderated by Inclusion International’s Executive Director, Connie Laurin-Bowie, we explored a thematic discussion on teacher training in inclusive pedagogy and multidisciplinary approach to teacher support. Catalyst for Inclusive Education Expert Advisors Gordon Porter and Paula Hunt gave presentations on the theme applied to the Canada, Portugal and Global contexts. After Paula’s and Gordon’s session, we heard experiences of School Directors from eight different cities spread through the Russian Federation.
The presentations were followed by active discussions.
The 3rd day was dedicated to sharing the experience of regional partners of the NGO Perspektiva. These regional partners shared their projects for inclusion in 3 different cities of the Russian Federation. Diane Richler, Chair of the Inclusion International’s programme called Catalyst for Inclusive Education, moderated the event on that day and facilitated a very fruitful conversation between the participants and the presenters. After that, there was a presentation and discussion about the new strategy of development for inclusive education 2030 that was approved by the Russian Federation. Finally, the meeting Co-hosts held a discussion with the meeting participants on the final conclusions and recommendations for future collective advocacy efforts towards achieving inclusive education for children with disabilities.