In the global context where the Sustainable Development Goals (UN, 2015) have forefronted the notion of equity and inclusion in education as a criterion for achieving quality education, this conference will play an important role in the development of new frameworks in inclusive education. A central theme of the conference revolves around fostering excellence through inclusive education. Inclusive education has been often considered as an additional activity that schools should do. It is possible that this understanding and belief contributed towards slow progress of implementing inclusive education in many countries. Research has shown that inclusion and excellence can co-exist. It is important to re-define inclusive education and consider it a way to bring excellence in our school system.
The Conference will address issues related to education of learners who are frequently excluded because of their learning abilities, ethnic background, socioeconomic status and gender.
The conference is not just about critical analysis of what we have not been able to do well, but it is about looking forward to ways of providing high quality education to all children where inclusion and excellence can co-exist. It will challenge current hegemonic notions of inclusive education and encourage critical thinking and research aimed at developing local models of inclusion which respond to ground realities. The conference invites participants to focus on enablers in our educational systems and offer new ways of providing high quality education to all children. The challenge is to move away from solely focusing on what is not working but seeking out what works. The deliberations will challenge current notions of inclusive education and encourage critical thinking and research aimed at developing local models of inclusion that respond to ground realities. It will also seek pathways to make suggestions to policy makers for measures that need to be formulated and implemented to strengthen the education related goals of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Some of the key themes that the conference seeks to address are:
- New thinking in inclusive teaching and learning
- Achieving equity and excellence in learning
- Challenges and opportunities for inclusive education in varied systems
- Interrelated dimensions of exclusion/inclusion in classrooms
- Student voice influencing policy and practice in inclusive education
- Enabling collaborations and partnerships in inclusive education
- Role of evidence in inclusive policy making
- Values and conceptualisation of inclusive education
- Examining system readiness to implement inclusive education
- Leadership and mentoring roles in promoting equity and inclusion in education
This conference will encourage national and international participants which includes:
- Parents and people with disabilities
- Graduate and Post-graduate Students
- Non-Governmental Organisations
- School educators and administrators
- International donors