Middle East Feb 20, 2017
AMMAN, JORDAN: Quality education for all children, regardless of gender, financial situation or disability, should be the primary aim of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries, experts agreed on Thursday.
Inclusive education — one that embraces all students and enables them to develop their critical thinking, and innovative and problem-solving skills — was the focus of a regional conference held by the British Council.
The three-day event, titled “Building Inclusive Classrooms”, began on Thursday and aims to provide a platform for experts from across the MENA to discuss the challenges to achieving inclusivity in education particularly discrimination based on gender, socio-economic background and disability.
Policy makers from Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Palestine and the UK are taking part in the event, which aims to support teachers and school leaders to further develop effective and inclusive practices by providing high quality, ongoing professional development services.
The conference is part of the 2015-2018 Building Inclusive Classrooms joint initiative, funded by the British Council and the UK’s Department for International Development.
The goal of the £34 million (around JD30 million) program is to reach out to more than 3,500 schools and 4,000 educators.
During Thursday’s opening ceremony, attended by Education Minister Omar Razzaz, British Council Regional Director Adrian Chadwick noted that the programme equips educators with the necessary skills and knowledge to enhance sustainable development, human rights and equality.
He added that it also entrenches cultures of peace, global citizenship and cultural diversity, stressing the council’s commitment to cooperating with local and regional stakeholders in order to ensure that all children have access to high quality education.
So far, a total of 28,000 teachers have received training under the project, according to the British Council.