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Inclusion and equity are keywords in the formulation of SDG4: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.
UNESCO defines and promotes inclusive education as “education systems that remove the barriers limiting the participation and achievement of all learners, respect diverse needs, abilities and characteristics and that eliminate all forms of discrimination in the learning environment”. This means, quite simply, that every child has a right to appropriate high-quality education, regardless of gender, location, wealth, ethnicity, but also of religion, language, disability – and regardless of how these barriers may further intersect.
Despite this international definition, the term “inclusive education” tends to have different meanings for different people. Moreover, a much more complex issue is achieving inclusive and equitable, high-quality education.
The 2020 Educaid.be Digital Conference will aim to contribute to the understanding of what inclusive education really stands for; what the barriers are impeding its delivery; what the perspectives, strategies and approaches are for achieving it; and what good and inspirational practices are in place.
The conference will mark the official launch in Belgium of the 2020 UNESCO GEM report. This report addresses inclusion in education worldwide, drawing attention to all those excluded from education because of background or ability. Its presentation will give a state-of-the-art update on inclusive and equitable education and provide the context to improve our understanding of this important issue.