Education Ministry, HCD endorse definition of inclusion, diversity

[09-05-2022 09:34 AM]

Ammon News - The Education Ministry and the Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (HCD) on Sunday endorsed the definition of inclusion and diversity in education as “a firm commitment to the right to education for all”.

The announcement came during a high-level roundtable on Inclusion and Diversity in Education that was held at the HCD.

The event, chaired by HCD President HH Prince Mired and Education Minister Wajih Owais, discussed the capacity development process towards greater inclusion and diversity in education, its results so far, and the way forward, according to a joint statement.

“It is the education system in Jordan that needs to change to adapt to the child, not the other way around. If we do not get education right, we will not get anything right” said Prince Mired in his opening remarks.

The minister reaffirmed that inclusive education is a priority for the ministry and a key component of the National Education Sector Plan ESP (2018-2025).

“All children should be able to participate in education whatever their needs or disabilities” he stated, continuing that “the ministry is working on developing all aspects to support them, be it in improving school infrastructure, teacher training, curriculum, and more”.

The roundtable deliberated on the key findings and recommendations of the Institutional Capacity Needs Assessment on Inclusion and Diversity in Education in Jordan undertaken in 2021 by UNESCO under the “Towards greater Inclusion and Diversity in Education in Jordan” initiative,

The assessment was carried out cooperation with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and was commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation in Germany (BMZ).

The assessment identified the main gaps and challenges in the system, as well as the strengths and existing capacities to support the roadmap towards inclusion and diversity in education.

The Roadmap Towards Capacity Development for System Strengthening, Inclusion and Diversity in Education in Jordan, which will guide the implementation of the 10-Year Strategy for Inclusive Education and its Three-Year Inclusive Education Action Plan in alignment with the Education Strategic Plan, was also briefly presented along with examples of specific steps and actions.

The high-level roundtable also discussed the definition of inclusion and diversity in Jordan that was articulated through participatory and broad consultations held with stakeholders and partners over the past year, as well as the groups of children vulnerable to exclusion from and within education in Jordan.

UNESCO Representative to Jordan Min Jeong Kim congratulated the Education Ministry and HCD on reaching a shared definition and recognition of the vulnerable groups of children in “a consultative and insightful manner”.

She stressed that this creates an important opportunity for the Ministry of Education and HCD to rally stakeholders and partners around the Capacity Development Roadmap so that they work together towards a common goal.

She also highlighted that Jordan has the potential to become a role model for other countries striving to have more inclusive education systems.

GIZ Jordan Country Director Elisabeth Girrbach also praised all the efforts that have been exerted by the government of Jordan since the launch of the 10-Year Strategy for Inclusive Education.

She stated that GIZ would continue to support the strengthening of the education system in the country along with other sectors.

The ministry and HCD also pledged to conduct a follow-up action to hold a high-level policy dialogue with a wide range of education stakeholders and partners in Jordan to come out with what will be the Jordan Declaration on Inclusion and Diversity in Education so that collectively entities move towards greater inclusion and diversity in education. In this way, the concept is embraced at all levels, ensuring that the diversity of abilities and background found among children is also reflected in schools across Jordan, read the statement.

In closing the session, Owais expressed the ministry’s commitment to move the inclusive education agenda forward, stressing that “transforming the mindsets of society is a must”.

Prince Mired pointed out that Jordan has already come a long way, adding that while the remaining challenges are significant, it is with positive attitude and determination that “we will move forward”. “Today, I have seen meticulous planning, and if this is the way we work, I am sure we can make our system better and witness improvements every year to come,” the prince said.

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