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Why is inclusive education key to Sustainable Development Goal 4? IBE-UNESCO presented its case at GASERC’s conference for Gulf States



Dr. Marope, Director, and Mr. Opertti, Senior Programme Specialist, presented at the GASERC 2017 (Gulf Arab States Educational Research Centre) conference ‘Teacher Role in Educational Efficiency,’ 24-26 April, 2017.

IBE-UNESCO and GASERC have built a strong partnership since 2000, in issues related to curriculum design and development, as well as inclusive education.

This year’s conference in Manama, Bahrain was a key event that will enable Gulf States to keep track of the most recent education innovations and draw implications that can favourably affect educational specialists’ professional development. The conference also granted Gulf States the opportunity to discern the most outstanding educational endeavours at the regional and global levels to gain insights to inform prospective educational projects. Educational specialists, educational planners, and faculty members at colleges of education in member countries, as well as invited educational experts, took part in the conference.

In her opening remarks, Dr. Marope underscored that realizing and sustaining education systems efficiency is inevitable given rising demands on systems' performance and shrinking resources in the oil-rich Arab States. She argued that given the range of resources under their direct management, teachers are indispensable to system efficiency. On the other hand, teachers are not silver bullets nor should they be scapegoats. For their own efficiency, they depend on the efficiency of other elements of the system. The IBE-UNESCO therefore adopts a systemic approach to realizing efficiency gains. She also announced the consultative process she will launch mid-May with all heads of curriculum globally to use curriculum to support this effort, among others.

Mr. Opertti presented "Sustainable Development Goal 4 - Education 2030 Agenda: a window of opportunity for inclusive education and inclusive teachers” (see paper below). He addressed the daunting challenge of integrating four ideas that set the compass for education policy on inclusion: (i) human rights and common good; (ii) attention for groups with special needs;  (iii) priority for situations of exclusion and marginalization; and  (iv) the hub of change of the education system. He also delved into the tensions and challenges countries might face when moving forward with inclusive education including:  (i) falsely positioning social inclusion against social cohesion; (ii) diversity versus disparity; (iii) access to education versus the outcomes of learning; and (iv) homogenization versus diverse universalism.

The overarching conference topics were:
1) Wastage in education
  • Efficiency of the educational system and the impact of wastage
  • Educational wastage in member states: aspects, patterns and solutions
  • Student absence, grade repetition and drop out: causes and solutions
  • The impact of teaching strategies and the philosophy of evaluation adopted
(Assessment for learning versus assessment of learning).
2) Teacher performance
  • Professional standards for teachers
  • Teacher training and professional development
  • Evaluating teacher performance
  • Teacher autonomy and agency.
Download the conference agenda below.
Watch videos direct from the conference.

GASERC is dedicated to improving education in Gulf Member States and promoting cooperation and joint educational activities. Member States at GASERC include United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Bahrain, Republic of Yemen, Kuwait, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar. The Centre carries out research and educational development endeavours that aim at investigating the present situation of Gulf countries educational systems, and sustaining efforts aiming at improving the functioning of these systems.
IBE-UNESCO’s curriculum development in the region
IBE-UNESCO with UNESCO’s Section For Teacher Development and Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) with the generous support of the Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award For Distinguished Academic Performance, launched its first Postgraduate Diploma in Curriculum Design and Development for the Arab States in December 2016 . The first face-to-face session saw the participation of 40 education specialists from 11 countries in the region. 
For updates about the conference, please follow us on Twitter: @IBE_UNESCO, @m_marope and @OperttiRenato
Follow GASERC on Twitter:  @GASERCKUWAIT or Facebook: gaserckw