British Council Nepal hosted its 3rd Annual Education Symposium on 28 January 2020. The theme of this year’s event was “Inclusive Education”. The event brought together policy makers, planners, administrators, head teachers, teachers, researchers, NGO and private sector and development partners to share different perspectives and discuss issues around Inclusion in Education in Nepal, South Asia and the UK.
The British Council believes that inclusion involves an integrated approach to policy, educational culture and classroom practice and that good practice is an ongoing process. Among the many issues that countries face around making their education systems inclusive, many say that access, engagement, empowerment and enablement are the key issues.
Bishnu Kumar Adhikari, Deputy Director General, Centre for Education and Human Resource Development shared at the symposium, that “Inclusive Education can be a key to initiate positive changes in Nepal. There are education policies in Nepal, but it is yet to be fully implemented and ensured to promote inclusive teaching practices in our schools.”
The British Ambassador to Nepal, His excellency, Nicola Pollitt shared that “Inclusive Education is one of the building blocks of inclusive society. To increase access to education and opportunities for marginalised communities is crucial for overall’s Nepal development. I encourage and support everyone to put inclusion to plan and execution in education.”
Dr. Jovan Ilic, Country Director British Council Nepal said “Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) are at the heart of what we do at the British Council and are directly linked to our values. We believe that the inclusion of children and young people into the regular education systems in Nepal is an entitlement and a fundamental human right regardless of their gender, ethnicity, ability, language of choice, socio-economic background, health or medical condition. If this is to be successful and sustainable then it must be predicated on an approach that is achievable, empowering and based upon a thorough and sensitive understanding of the current context of Nepal, its community, school, individual and every other area within the education system. Successful inclusive practices will only be secured by change at all levels within the system.”
“What we are learning over again at the British Council, as we operate in over 100 countries worldwide, is how diversity drives creativity, a positive working culture, performance, and above all impact. The body of evidence is increasing all the time as to how and why diversity drives performance for all and any organization or institution, and what better place to establish this first and foremost than in our schools.”
At the occasion, the British Council also launched the publication titled “Creating an Inclusive School Environment”- Edited by Susan Douglas. The publication represents British Council’s approach to inclusive education, drawing on the best evidence and research globally. Most importantly, it demonstrates how approaches to inclusive education are relevant to both local and global contexts. The publication was reviewed by Dr. Dibya Dawadi, Spokesperson, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the review paper was presented at the symposium.