UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report puts Inclusion on the Agenda

Today, UNESCO released the 2020 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report, supporting Inclusion International’s position that inclusive education is the foundation of a good quality education system that enables every child, youth and adult to learn and fulfill their potential.

The GEM Report was commissioned in 2015 by 160 Governments at the World Education Forum, to monitor and report progress on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 on Education: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. The Sustainable Development Goals were designed to create national and international strategies for change and to hold all countries accountable for their commitment to improvement in each goal area.

In previous years, the GEM Reports have focused on migration and displacement, accountability and the environment. This year’s focus on inclusion places the current exclusion of learners with disabilities at the top of the global education agenda. The report notes that “those with a sensory, physical or intellectual disability are 2.5 times more likely to have never been in school as their peers without disabilities.“

The report recognizes the existing misconceptions around the meaning of inclusive education and calls on education actors to widen their understanding of inclusive education to include all learners, regardless of their disabilities, cultural or socio-economic backgrounds, race or gender.

A few of the report’s recommendations are especially important to Inclusion International and its members – including the need to target financing to those left behind, to engage in meaningful consultation with parents, and apply Universal Design for Learning that recognizes diversity and responds to various learners’ needs.

Inclusion International’s members contributed to the drafting of the report through online consultations[1].

In response to the GEM Report launch, Sue Swenson, President of Inclusion International, said:

This report opens the door for Inclusion International’s members to work with governments, school administrators, teachers and all those committed to quality, equitable and inclusive education to ensure that learners with intellectual disabilities finally have their right to inclusive education respected.

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[1] https://inclusion-international.org/informing-unescos-2020-global-education-monitoring-report/

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