Building peace in the minds of men and women

Inclusive education programmes from Armenia and Canada win the 2013 UNESCO/Emir Jaber al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah Prize

Armenian non-governmental organization Bridge of Hope and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development of New Brunswick (Canada), are the laureates of the UNESCO/Emir Jaber al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah Prize to Promote Quality Education for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities.

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, announced the laureates during Education for All Global Action Week (4-10 May), celebrated under the theme of “Equal Right, Equal Opportunity: Education and Disability.”

The two winners were recommended by an international Jury which reviewed 54 applications submitted by Member States and NGOs in official partnership with UNESCO. Funded by the State of Kuwait, the Prize is awarded every two years.

The Armenian NGO Bridge of Hope is rewarded for its programme entitled ‘Towards Education for All: Inclusive Education’, which promotes human rights, social and educational inclusion of children and youth with disabilities. By engaging with key participants including government ministries, international agencies, families, communities, schools, and early childhood settings, the organization has contributed to significant country-wide improvements in inclusive education. Despite challenging conditions, the selected programme serves as an excellent model for the region. The nomination for the Prize was made by the Armenian National Commission for UNESCO.

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development of the Canadian Provincial Government of New Brunswick is recognized for its long-standing commitment to a systemic approach to inclusive education for learners with disabilities and for its vision of education as a catalyst for social justice and equity. Its programme ‘A model for inclusion in New Brunswick’s public education system’ constitutes an outstanding example of mentoring and professional learning for inclusive education, and a model of excellence in a public education system that has inspired other countries. The Department of Education of New Brunswick was proposed for the Prize by the NGO Inclusion International an NGO in official partnership with UNESCO.

“Inclusion benefits all children. These programmes show that it is possible to remove barriers to and in learning, to realize the full and equal participation in education of children and youth with disabilities,” said the Director-General.

Each of the prize winners will receive a monetary award of $20,000 at a ceremony to be hosted by the Government of Kuwait and UNESCO, on 26 May in Kuwait.