Inclusive education must build education systems’ capacity to develop learning paths to cater for all children. As a general rule, it should guide all educational policies and practices, given that education is a basic human right and lays the foundation for a more just and equal society.The symposium will gather experts from different countries who will share experiences and reflect upon concepts and innovative ideas related to inclusive education.
In implementing an inclusive approach, consideration must be given to crucial issues such as standards, academic failure, careers advice, assessment, general education-system economics and the training of education professionals. The training of education professionals for the purposes of inclusive education is the keynote topic of this international symposium, which will be organized jointly by UNESCO and the French National Commission for UNESCO, in conjunction with the French Ministry of Education and the Fondation de France.
Many discussions are being held internationally not only on educational institutions but also on the wide variety of bodies and services that support children and teenagers in great difficulty, including those with disabilities. In schools, teachers at all levels of education have expressed great disquiet, even fear, about having pupils with disorders or severe difficulties in the classroom, frequently saying that they had “not been trained for that”, while specialists in other bodies and support services, usually managed by associations, are wondering whether they will still have a role to play if mainstream schools are obliged to enrol all children. In both cases, new working arrangements, such as differentiated instruction, flexi-time schooling, on-the-ground collaboration, action by medical and social services, exchange of expertise and inter-institutional networks, must be promoted, even though they are already operational in some places. They are all, naturally, new challenges for education professionals, who are too often under-trained or poorly trained, in a general context in which the notion of inclusive society is struggling to gain ground.
The approach is therefore genuinely inclusive, entailing the transformation of educational institutions and practices, which should no longer set the goal of enforcing standards; rather, they should adapt to the diversity reflected among children and help them to enhance their potentials. The symposium will gather experts from different countries who will share experiences and reflect upon concepts and innovative ideas related to inclusive education.