Lessons from the South: Making a Difference

An International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) Seminar on Inclusive Education

Agra, India

March 1-7 1998

 

Introduction

Text version - for downloading

The Agra seminar was an international seminar with a difference. It was a collaborative venture between a small number of international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the Enabling Education Network (EENET). The International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) has no headquarters, staff or budget of its own. The organisation of the seminar was guided by IDDC's current chairperson and Save the Children Fund (SCF {UK})'s Disability Adviser, Ms Sue Stubbs; but responsibility for the various tasks was shared out between the organisations. Some gave generously of their time and others were able to provide the necessary capital to enable the seminar to take place.

Participation in the seminar was conditional upon the satisfactory completion of an application form. This included an explanation of the relevance of the seminar to the applicant's work and a definition of the term inclusive education. This was not a seminar for those who wanted to further their careers, it was to help practitioners improve their practice. IDDC had an obligation to ensure that the time and resources used would directly benefit the lives of marginalised groups, such as disabled children.

It was a seminar without an agenda. The methodology used to structure the participants' questions into a problem-solving and experience-sharing agenda was fundamentally linked to the philosophy of inclusive education. It was highly flexible and constantly changing in order to cater to individual needs. The seminar became a microcosm of an inclusive society. A variety of active teaching and learning methods were used in order to demonstrate the changes which need to take place in most educational settings and to experience them at first hand. The description and analysis of this methodology takes up almost as much space in the report as the content of the seminar. Both are considered equally important, since the medium is the message.

1. Why was the Seminar Held?

This section outlines the reasons for holding the seminar.

International recognition that education systems should cater for diversity has been growing steadily in recent years. The 1990 United Nations (UN) Conference in Jomtien focused on 'Education for All' and the 1994 Salamanca Conference on Special Needs added to this impetus by drawing attention to the large numbers of groups of children currently excluded from mainstream education. The world's disabled children, who are often hidden away in back rooms or sometimes separated from other children by being placed in special schools, form one of these excluded groups. Other groups include street children, girl children and the children of nomads.

The industrialised countries of 'the West' are often seen to be taking the lead in policy and practice on inclusive education, yet in reality, this is far from the case. In three quarters of the world, the so-called 'developing countries', have many examples of excellent policy and practice in inclusive education, despite large class sizes, few material resources, and limited access to information. In many cases:

However, people involved in developing policy and implementing inclusive education in these countries are often extremely isolated from other practitioners and have few opportunities to learn from each other. The lessons of their experience are not only relevant to other 'developing' countries, but also to the industrialised countries of 'the north', particularly in the current climate of declining resources. Yet practitioners from the South have very few opportunities to attend the many so-called 'international' conferences which tend to be held in the North and to be dominated by Northern agendas. Token representation of people from the South at international conferences rarely leads to a genuine exchange of ideas and experience taking place. For all these reasons, the IDDC decided to organise a seminar which would:

'provide a forum for sharing experiences and identifying common issues on inclusive education in countries with few economic resources and/or limited access to information and experience'

The ultimate aim of this seminar was to actively contribute to policy and practice development resulting in increased and improved inclusive education (IE) for all.

2. What we Talked About

This section summarises the main outcomes of the discussions which took place during the seminar. They are reflected here under five broad headings: policy; attitudes; school issues; practice; and monitoring and evaluation. Each section includes a summary of the constraints, key questions and existing strengths of the IE programmes represented at the seminar. Examples of good practice are given in the form of short case studies, or vignettes, and are based upon the presentations and background papers prepared by the participants. Participants from Laos and Mozambique were unfortunately unable to attend, but examples of their work have been quoted, where appropriate.

Poverty, and the need for resources and funding, underpinned all the discussions. Political instability, refugee and conflict situations, natural disasters and the lack of a basic infrastructure were identified as conditions which make the enormous challenge of implementing IE more difficult. Isolation from relevant information, and from opportunities to share and reflect on experience, is another aspect of that poverty.

Participants were helped to think through their own situations and to work out their own context-specific solutions. They were also encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning by identifying the individuals who could help them most with their particular questions and by referring to the resource materials set out on the displays on each project which remained on display throughout the seminar.

There was very little time spent discussing the definition of inclusive education since the aim of the seminar was to share experiences of well established programmes, rather than to debate the meaning of inclusion. Interestingly no-one signed up for the interest group entitled 'philosophy' which would have discussed the definitions of concepts in detail. The following diagrams were used as a basic introduction to the definition of inclusion and to distinguish between integration and inclusion.

Diagram 1 - Integrated Education

Integrated Education

 

Diagram 2 - Inclusive Education

Inclusive Education

 

Policy

The situation faced by most practitioners is that there is either no legislation, or bad legislation, and there is often no government recognition of IE. A lack of inter-ministerial and inter-agency collaboration makes it very difficult to introduce new ideas. And, sadly, there is corruption. A tradition of segregated provision for disabled children and a single-category approach to impairment often restricts the possibility for change. The dominant medical model of disability, the philosophy of defectology, and resistance to change from professionals are just some of the barriers to the development of policy on IE. Isolation from examples of good practice, the difficulty in finding appropriate and committed human resources, and funding agencies pursuing their own agenda further exacerbate an already difficult situation.

How can we encourage segregated systems to move towards inclusion?

Case study: Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

Save the Children Fund (SCF-UK)'s disability work in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) is being carried out in a situation of political instability and political change from communism to democracy. A dominant medical model of defectology focuses on the 'defect' or impairment, rather than on the child's ability and potential. Strong negative attitudes towards disabled people held by parents, professionals and society in general are perhaps the greatest barrier to inclusion. The vast majority of disabled children, particularly those living in rural areas, are excluded from all services and have no means of accessing education. Some ad hoc integration is taking place, mostly in the capital city, but those children who attend special units have a segregated educational experience, with no parental involvement.

"Institutionalisation is still seen as an appropriate response to disability, and segregation, rather than integration, characterises the whole pattern of services."

SCF's disability programme began in 1996 with a strong focus on children's rights and with a close partnership with local agencies, and parents' associations in particular. Its aim is to promote community, rather than institutional ways of working and to influence professionals and policy makers to consider adopting new methods of working with disabled children. The target group is young children with learning difficulties under the age of eight years. The main focus of the work has been to empower and support parents to form organisationsand to encourage them to challenge public attitudes and current policy.

Seminars have been held for parents, professionals and policy makers to promote the concept of 'parents as partners' and to facilitate dialogue between the three groups. Parents and professionals from day care centres have received training and individual programmes have been developed for each child. Parents have been trained in the development and evaluation of care programmes for their own children and in the management of toy libraries. SCF has opened three toy libraries for disabled children and their parents which represents a community based alternative to the current institutional provision.

Although the overall system remains segregated, there have been some significant moves towards a more inclusive approach. Parents' organisations have been formed in which parents are playing an active role. More structured links have been developed between parents and professionals in the institutions involved in the programme and this has led to a better understanding between the two and to the children making greater progress. Finally, there has been greater press coverage of disability issues since the programme started.

How can we influence governments to change their national policies towards disabled children and other marginalised groups?

The starting point for influencing policy should be human rights and the improvement of education for all children. Existing national and international legislation and documentation on IE should be collected and used as reference material to initiate policy development. The United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and UNESCO's Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action (1994) are crucial documents for all IE practitioners wishing to influence policy development. (See Appendix 6.)

Case study: South Africa

"Quality education for all: Overcoming barriers to learning and development" is the title of a report commissioned by the President of South Africa which was completed in 1997. The report involved extensive consultation with all the key stake-holders in special needs education and took one year to complete. The document will form the basis of a new national policy on special needs education, which is directly in line with general education transformation initiatives. The principles underpinning this educational transformation include: human rights and justice for all learners, equal access to a single, inclusive education system, removing past inequalities, the development of strong links between the community and the centres of learning, and cost-effectiveness. Educational provision and support for all learners must be appropriate, effective, affordable, implementable and sustainable. Starting from the basis of respecting the human rights of all individuals, this radical new policy paves the way for an education system, which welcomes and responds to diversity.

Advocacy groups such as parents' pressure groups and disabled people's organisations have an important role to play in lobbying government to bring about changes in line with international legislation. Information about IE should be widely disseminated in mainstream journals and newsletters. The media should be used as much as possible to raise the profile of IE issues.

What is the role of NGOs in IE and how can they be more effective in promoting IE, especially where there is no legislation?

Case study: Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea (PNG) has a unified education system made up of various government and church agencies. All salaries are paid by the government and diverse identities and philosophies of the agencies working in partnership with government are respected and upheld. It is therefore possible for an educational initiative taken by one agency to be recognised, owned and adopted by the larger system.

Callan Services for Disabled Persons was created in 1990 by the Christian Brothers of Papua New Guinea as an NGO which would promote training in special education within the ordinary school system. The Christian Brothers had established a centre for blind children in 1982, outside the regular school system and had found themselves negotiating with mainstream schools to accept blind children. Yet it should have been an automatic right that the children had a place in mainstream school. Also in the 1980s they became aware of the lack of educational opportunities for deaf children.

In collaboration with other NGOs, Callan Services called upon the National Department of Education to take up its responsibility for approximately 60,000 severely disabled children by making the regular school system inclusive. Christoffel Blinden Mission (CBM) assisted Callan Services in introducing special education into the three year curriculum at Wewak teacher training college in 1991. An inclusive pre-school was established on the campus which would feed into the demonstration primary school. Wewak became a model for the future development of all teacher training colleges. A National Plan for Special Education was developed and approved by cabinet in early 1993 and funding for the first phase of the plan was released in 1994. Currently 7 pre-service teachers' colleges and 1 in-service teachers' college have a lectureship in special education which is supported by a Special Education Resource Centre, each with a core staff of 4 teachers salaried by government.

Attitudes

A limited understanding of the concept of disability, negative attitudes towards disabled people and a deep resistance to change are major barriers to inclusive education. Lack of knowledge, and an unwillingness to share knowledge and information, feed prejudice and discrimination against disabled people. Mass media stereotypes of disabled people serve to encourage and reinforce negative attitudes. The marginalisation of parents by professionals and the desire of some disabled adults for a more luxurious specialist system further complicate the issues. Promoting positive attitudes and respect for difference is a pre-requisite for policy development and the implementation of IE at school and community level.

What methods can be used to create positive attitudes in policy makers, families, disabled people and learners?

Before reaching out to challenge the negative attitudes of others, it is essential to start by addressing our own attitudes and those of our nearest colleagues. We must set a living example of the concept of inclusion. It is important to use positive language and to avoid labelling, especially where non exists. Educational literature should be reviewed and negative language and stereotyping should be removed. The media should be monitored for any negative portrayal of disabled people and should be encouraged to portray positive images.

It is also important to identify existing examples of positive attitude change such as health promoting schools or the enrolment of larger numbers of girl children. Links can then be made with other issues of difference prior to embarking upon an awareness raising campaign. The campaign should focus on teachers, parents, community workers, children, architects, policy makers and all personnel involved in education. By providing basic information about disability and about the abilities of disabled people, and by encouraging disabled people to act as role models, self-advocates and information providers, there will be a gradual shift towards more positive attitudes.

How can we change traditional education systems into an IE system?

It is important to start by challenging and influencing the attitudes of policy makers and service providers. This could be done by identifying key policy makers and arranging personal meetings with them to discuss IE and its potential to transform the whole educational system. Continuous exposure to IE issues could be provided by inviting the policy makers and service providers to exhibitions and seminars. Attractive and informative publicity material could be produced which highlight the issues, such as videos and calendars. Finally, information on the cost-effectiveness of inclusion in transport, buildings and staffing terms should be provided.

Case study: Nicaragua

The Ministry of Education has been promoting the integration of children with special educational needs into regular schools since 1990. However, this has been done on a very individual basis and without the full support of the education system as a whole. Responsibility for children identified as having 'special educational needs' rests with the department of special education in the ministry of education. This department is under-resourced, and, like most traditional education systems, is pre-occupied with supporting those children who attend the special schools.

"...limited resources are used to support individual children and are not potentialised to support the whole educational system"

"One school for all: the development of inclusive practices in Nicaragua" is the title of a two year UNESCO project, initiated in 1998, which will look in depth at the integration which has taken place so far and which will help point the way forward to a more inclusive approach. Three primary schools will be supported to adopt a culture of reflective enquiry, collaboration and training. Responding to diversity will become a strategy for overall school improvement and teacher development.

How can we empower parents to negotiate for an appropriate education for their child?

Parents need basic information about their child's ability and potential, as well as their particular impairment. The major focus should be on the importance of encouraging their children's independence through participation in family activities and developing skills and confidence in the activities of daily living. Early intervention with disabled children and their families should take place through a process of consultation, encouragement, demonstration, perseverance and information. Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) workers and teachers should build a strong relationship with the whole family based on trust. Support for the family should be tailor-made. Parents should be given the opportunity of being involved in their children's activities so that they can observe the methods used and participate as much as possible.

Case study: Lesotho

The Special Education Unit in the Ministry of Education in Lesotho believed that IE could only be successful if teachers worked in partnership with parents. Since there was no parents' organisation in the country in 1991 when the IE programme started, they took a lead role in the formation of the Lesotho Society of Mentally Handicapped Persons (LSMHP). Parents have therefore played an active part in the IE programme from the beginning. They have contributed to the development of in-service teacher training materials and are often asked to give talks during teachers' seminars. They provide valuable support to teachers who have disabled children in their class. As a result of this close collaboration, parents have become both more aware of their children's needs and more confident in dealing with professionals. Information about IE is spread all over the country by the parents, far beyond the ten pilot schools where it was initially introduced. Where there is no IE programme the parents have taken the initiative to introduce the concept. In turn, the teachers involved in implementing IE are promoting the parents' message about the rights of disabled children to attend school.

Parents should be encouraged to set up their own support groups. Meetings could be set up between disabled people and parents of disabled children. Information should be made available to both groups on how to access services and resources and about children's rights. Parents with positive experiences can be more involved with lobbying and consulting. If necessary, support groups, or self-help organisations, for people with similar disabilities could be set up which will provide role models for attitude change among disabled people themselves and in the community.

How do we prepare non-disabled children and their families for IE and how do we address the needs of both disabled and non-disabled children through inclusion?

Case study: Vietnam

A Care in the Community Project for disabled children was initiated by SCF(UK) in Ho Chi Minh City in 1992. At that time SCF's main partner was the Centre for Research and Education of Disabled Children in the Education Department. Together they organised an 'Education for All ' seminar in 1993. The seminar was based on the UNESCO Resource Pack . Several of the districts represented were so interested in the ideas that they established contact with SCF without waiting for a directive from the Education Department. Regulations prohibited mainstream schools from accepting disabled children, yet it was discovered that one of the kindergartens had accepted some disabled children. SCF began to support this initiative unofficially.

An awareness raising workshop was organised for the parents of non-disabled children and for those teachers who had disabled children in their class. The parents of non-disabled children were reassured in the workshop that the presence of disabled children did not mean that the teachers were less caring towards their children. They also realised that relationships between the children in the class were not adversely affected by the inclusion of a disabled child. There had been some resistance from the teachers at the beginning of the project, but once they had gained confidence in working with disabled children they were able to initiate similar workshops for parents.

"Committed and convinced parents of non-disabled children are necessary for the success of IE."

Is social stigma considered as a disability?
Children who have AIDS, TB or leprosy or whose family members have any of these conditions are likely to experience discrimination and possibly exclusion from school. If the social stigma resulting from these medical conditions leads to a child being excluded from education then it is necessary to target these groups as part of an inclusive education initiative.

Participants produced a series of awareness-raising posters for children, parents, teachers, policy-makers and community members.

School Issues

The stark reality facing most practitioners when introducing IE at school level can be very off-putting: rigid school systems; an inflexible curriculum; poorly paid and poorly trained teachers; a lack of basic facilities, such as books and desks; and buildings in a state of disrepair. This situation was borne out by the school visits made during the seminar to local schools in Agra. However, despite these difficulties, exciting and innovative work is going on in schools. By building upon the strengths of even the most impoverished schools, it is possible to introduce fundamental changes in educational practice.

Are there any criteria for selecting teachers and schools for IE?
Inclusive education, by its definition, includes all children and all schools. It may be necessary to be selective in the initial pilot stages in order to develop models of good practice, but ultimately inclusive education is for all children in all schools.

Case study: Lao People's Democratic Republic

The Lao government is a signatory to the UN Convention on Child Rights and the Salamanca Statement and in 1996 it adopted a decree on compulsory education, which includes disabled children. The needs of girl children and the complex cultural and linguistic context of education are two other major issues of marginalisation being considered by the Ministry of Education.

Inclusive education is being introduced as part of a school improvement initiative. In 1989 plans were made to improve the quality of teacher education, teaching methodology and of the curriculum. SCF (UK) was invited to help with pre- and in-service teacher training programmes in the pre-school and primary school sectors. Some of the key questions which were asked were: 'Why do so many children fail?' And 'How can we teach in ways that limit failure and enhance learning with our limited resources?' The need for more child-centred and active teaching approaches in the classroom, planning and recording, and the recognition of individual differences among children provided some of the answers to these questions.

Changes were first introduced through the 'demonstration kindergarten' attached to the teacher training institute. This enabled students to acquire practical skills while at the same time providing the administrators and teacher trainers with an experimental situation from which to devise the programme in schools. This in-service training continues through regional and provincial centres. Lao educationalists have had access to relevant international research and experience through documents and study visits and the presence of an SCF adviser. This educational transformation has taken place with a relatively small budget in a culturally appropriate way. The ministry now has its own team of advisers who are responsible for planning and implementing educational change and managing the inclusion of disabled children.

The programme has been particularly successful in the pre-schools where staff have quickly recognised the connection between school improvement and inclusion. Any difficulties faced in the primary schools have been where school improvement had not been adequately addressed before including the disabled children. Also some schools had given in to the very real pressure of admitting too many disabled children, causing overload. One of the unexpected outcomes has been the reduction in the exam failure and repetition rates in many primary schools.

"1995 was the very last year of high repetition rates. We can now recognise difficulties long before the exam and put in extra help."

What are the criteria for screening the type and degree of disability and the child's potential for IE? Since education is for all children, theoretically it should not be necessary to screen children prior to inclusion. All children have a right to be included, so the question should perhaps be re-phrased in line with the social model of disability: What is the school's potential for inclusion? However for the minority of severely and multiply disabled children the most appropriate educational context for the child may be the family or community setting. These decisions can only be made in context.

Case Study: China

The Law on Compulsory Education (1986) and the Law on the Protection of the Rights of the Disabled (1991) have required and empowered provinces to introduce 'education for all'. Anhui Province Integrated Education Project was initiated in 1988 with the support of SCF(UK). It was decided to focus initially on the integration of children with mild learning difficulties, since they constitute the majority of school-aged children who require some form of special provision. It was also decided to start with children of kindergarten age.

Training was not only focused on the class teachers, but also on the local administrators, whose support is essential to the success of the project. Initially this training took place in the Salvation Army kindergartens in Hong Kong, but, following the success of the pilot project, it now takes place in Anhui.

There have been three main phases of this project. The pilot stage (1988-1993) when integration took place in only two kindergartens. The second stage which involved expanding the project to the municipal level (1994-5). The third stage, from 1996 onwards, the project has been expanded to the county level. To date 68 kindergartens have become involved, with approximately 350 children with mild learning difficulties being educated. Some of these children have been successfully integrated into primary schools, but the project has not yet expanded into the primary school sector. By the year 2000 it is intended that there will be 100 kindergartens involved, and that children with other disabilities will be involved in the project and that it will expand into the primary school sector.

The number of disabled children in any one class never exceeds 6%. In order to cater for these children the teaching methodology in the kindergartens has been transformed. Small group teaching and imaginative and exploratory play have contributed to an improvement in linguistic and cognitive development. Greater attention to individual learning rates and styles, introduced for the benefit of the 6%, has resulted in an improved educational environment for all children.

How can we teach children with a variety of special needs in the same class?
It is highly unlikely that there will be children with a wide range of disabilities in the same class if children attend their local school. It is much more likely that there will be an even distribution of disabled children throughout the various grades and schools. However most schools have mixed ability classes, containing children with a variety of learning speeds and needs. It is the task of the IE practitioner to alert teachers to this fact and to guide them in their responses to diversity in the classroom.

What curriculum input is needed to make classroom teachers more competent? Curriculum developed for training teachers to respond to the full range of impairments has been shown to produce better teachers and to reduce the drop-out and repetition rates. Teacher competency is therefore likely to improve with IE training and implementation.

"Inclusive education is better education."

What type & length should the training be and can it be incorporated into teacher training? Training in IE should be for all teachers and related educational staff. Additional training should be given to heads and deputies in the management of IE. The length of teacher training will differ from country to country, depending on the content of curriculum developed. Training could be arranged in a variety of ways: a cluster of schools; between two schools; within schools; or teacher to teacher. Training should be ongoing and sustainability should be built into the training process. Teachers should be trained to be self-resourcing. Training should involve local resource persons, such as disabled people.

Different types of teacher training material

In Lesotho in-service teacher training materials have been developed and successfully piloted. These include teachers' guides to the four basic categories of impairment, an assessment booklet and a parent training manual. The in-service course material has been adapted for use in the teacher training college. A video-based training package for use in pre-and in-service teacher training courses has been produced. There are four parts to the video: Foundations; Overcoming impairments; Adapting the curriculum; and Responding to difference. There is also a manual which contains activities developed by the IE trainers.

In Papua New Guinea a draft core curriculum on IE has been developed for all primary teachers' colleges which is currently being piloted. An in-service training package has also been produced which includes a resource book, a presenters' manual and a participants' handbook.

The UNESCO Teacher Education Resource Pack consists of workshop materials and activities that can be used to support the development of more inclusive practices in the classroom. There are two videos which accompany the pack: the first puts forward the rationale for the UNESCO project and the second illustrates the experiences of schools in Spain, England, Portugal, New Zealand and Jordan. Workshops are conducted by UNESCO-trained personnel and last for 1-2 weeks. The pack has been introduced into 60 countries and translated into fifteen different languages.

"The UNESCO pack is not an imposition from the West - it contains practical, useful and relevant material which goes beyond the classroom."

In Bangladesh 5 day basic training courses on disability and IE for non-formal primary education teachers are run by the Community Approaches to Handicap and Disability (CAHD) programme. This is essentially a CBR initiative aimed at community development NGOs which run literacy programmes.

How can we adapt the curriculum to the needs of disabled learners?
A developmental profile of a disabled learner will be more useful than a psychometric assessment. The whole family should be included in the assessment which should include family values, resources and literacy. An assessment should not be confined to intelligence and achievement. Continuous assessment through a wide variety of methods, such as drama, group work and multiple choice will reflect the child's strengths more accurately than standard tests.

"When mainstream teachers are motivated to include disabled children in their classes, they find it so rewarding that they often work longer hours. They no longer see disabled children as a burden."

Practice
The seminar participants represented many different stages in the implementation process. Some were at the beginning and were unsure of the philosophy of IE, whereas others had been actively involved in IE for almost ten years. Many community workers came to the seminar assuming that they had a lot to learn about how to implement IE and realised that they had been 'doing it all along', since attitude change and community mobilisation for social inclusion is all part of IE.

The lack of interest in IE by management and the inflated egos of individuals and organisations were identified as two of the major constraints facing implementers of IE. It was recognised that many of the possible constraints haven't yet been identified as most practitioners are just getting started with IE programmes.

What are the pre-requisites for implementing IE?
In preparation for the implementation of IE there should be a thorough situation analysis. This should include general access to education services and drop-out and repetition rates. An analysis of factors which are potentially supportive of IE, such as the country's development goals and community aspirations, the national vision, current concerns of education policy makers and senior management.

Schools and communities should be identified which are more likely to be successful. This will build confidence and provide examples for attitude change. If possible, IE should be started at pre-school level and there should be strong parental and community involvement.

Is IE possible in rural areas, and if so, how can we develop and define context-specific models for IE in rural areas?

"There is no other option in rural areas except to implement IE."

It is essential to develop a sustainable support system for the implementation of IE in all schools, but this is perhaps especially true of remote, rural schools. Greater autonomy through decentralisation will enable schools to be more flexible. Teachers must have access to monitoring, on-going training and follow-up support. IE support groups should be formed, composed of disabled adults and youth, parents of disabled and non-disabled children, teachers and community workers. A problem-solving approach to IE should be encouraged which empowers all members of the support group.

In Lesotho traditional healers have been invited to awareness raising and training sessions run by the Ministry of Education as part of their strategy to harness existing community resources for the support of IE. Traditional healers are far more numerous than medical doctors, especially in rural areas, and are therefore an important and influential section of the community which needs to be mobilised if inclusion is to succeed.

How can we promote informal education in a family setting?
Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) programmes promote informal education for children in their home setting. Examples were given from India, Bangladesh, Uganda and Swaziland where CBR programmes are providing informal education opportunities in the absence of an IE programme. Many children are identified by CBR programmes when they are too old to start school, but they are able to follow a programme of home learning with the support of CBR workers. Age is not a barrier, neither is the degree of their disability, since home learning can be adapted to the need of the individual.

How can we promote effective co-operation between CBR programmes and IE?

Case study: Ghana

In 1992 the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare initiated a CBR programme in collaboration with the ministries of education and health and with disabled people's organisations. Its aims are to improve the quality of life of disabled people through the mobilisation of community resources, the provision of services and the creation of educational, vocational and social opportunities. The UN agencies of UNESCO, WHO (World Health Organisation) and International Labour Organisation (ILO) through United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are jointly collaborating on this project. Additional financial support has been provided by the Norwegian Association of the Disabled (NAD) and the Swedish Organisation of Disabled International Aid Association (SHIA). The programme is being piloted in 20 CBR target districts.

The educational component is managed at district level by peripatetic teachers, who are specialists in specific impairments. Although knowledgeable about the impairments, the peripatetic teachers lacked adequate skills to effectively support both teachers and pupils in inclusive schools. In 1993-1994 a series of four training workshops were held, based on the UNESCO Pack. Following the training a national resource team was set up and a pilot action research project was set up in the ten teacher training colleges. Nine out of the ten colleges are now using the Pack and 200 schools and 1060 teachers are involved in the programme in 20 of Ghana's 110 districts. Model inclusive schools have been developed in three districts.

Ghana is aiming to provide free, compulsory, universal, basic education by the year 2005. The IE programme will be integrated into this educational reform process. The key issues in basic education include poor teaching outcomes, gender bias, weak management and inadequate and inefficient use of resources. The IE philosophy, in combination with CBR, has a great deal to offer this process.

"Where expertise is rare and specialists are few, it makes sense to utilise the limited expertise for both inclusive education and CBR training programmes."

What methods are there for transforming special schools into resource centres - and what is their role in inclusion?
The relationship between IE and special schools was not explored during the seminar. This may be because there are relatively few special schools in the countries represented and therefore their role in inclusion is minimal. It may also be because the discussions deliberately avoided consideration of any one category of impairment, with the exception of deaf issues. It was generally agreed that a multi-category approach to disability was more helpful than the single category approach adopted by most special schools.

Are resource rooms another form of segregation?
There is a great danger in the creation of a resource room, or specialist facility, within a regular school. It encourages the idea that only specialists can teach disabled children. Teachers in the main school are likely to send children with behaviour and other problems to the resource room rather than attempting to solve the problem themselves. The children are likely to be socially, but not academically integrated. Resource rooms have been very successful for visually impaired children in urban areas, but it is an expensive option which is unlikely to work in rural areas.

How can we empower children to be more involved in IE?
Child-to-Child methodology is perhaps the most effective way of involving children in the process of implementing IE. Children become actively involved in researching an issue, such as disability, and in planning, implementing and evaluating the subsequent activities. The principles behind the Child-to Child approach are that children learn best by doing, they learn better from each other and they can have an influence on the attitudes and practices of adults. In this way children's own ideas for overcoming barriers to inclusion are respected and acted upon. All children take responsibility for including all children in classroom settings and in the community.

Case study: Swaziland

The use of Child-to-Child methodology

Disabled children have been integrated into pre- and primary schools as part of the Ministry of Health's CBR programme. This has inevitably been carried out on an individual basis at community level. There has not been any commitment as yet from the Ministry of Education to address the issue of inclusive education. However the introduction of the Child-to-Child methodology as part of the integration of disabled children has had a major impact on the schools involved.

Under the supervision of the CBR workers, school children and community members have been involved in adapting the physical environment to enable children with physical disabilities to be included in regular schools. Toilets have been adapted and simple ramps built at the entrance to classrooms to allow wheelchair access. Play equipment has also been constructed which is suitable for disabled children.

Teachers have been encouraged to discuss disability issues with their classes and the children have been involved in developing short plays which depict the causes of disability and how disabled children feel about their disability. Where possible this is focused on real, rather than imaginary, children.

Case study: Palestine

A pilot project to promote inclusive education through the Child-to-Child approach was implemented in a mainstream school located within the Jerusalem Centre for Disabled Children, which is a national rehabilitation centre. The school was originally built exclusively for disabled children, but gradually the numbers of non-disabled children have increased. There are now 27 disabled children from the immediate neighbourhood attending the primary school, which has a total enrolment of 185 children. The role of rehabilitation and education professionals as resource and support personnel for IE could easily be explored because of their close proximity to the mainstream school.

"All the needs of all the children have to be addressed, otherwise our work wouldn't be taken seriously by the schools."

The overall aim of the Child-to-Child approach is that children should become more responsible for their own health and for that of their communities. It is based on the principles that children learn better by doing (active learning), they learn better from each other, and they can influence adults. The six-step approach of Child-to-Child involves: identifying a problem; researching it; planning for action; implementing the plan; sharing and evaluating the experience; and doing it better.

The main aim of the pilot project in Jerusalem was to prepare the school environment to be more welcoming to all children. Children were encouraged to take responsibility for including all children in classroom settings and in their communities. This was based on the principles that all children are special and have individual differences and needs, they all need friends, they should all be equal partners in education, and that they may have creative ideas to help overcome the barriers to inclusion.

The present Child-to-Child activity sheet on disability recommends the use of simulation activities. However since this approach has been criticised by disabled people for arousing pity, the pilot project developed a new activity sheet which focuses on the issues of inclusion and exclusion, rather than disability. A training manual for teachers, parents and professionals on the promotion of IE was also produced. An evaluation of the project by the children, teachers and disabled people concluded that the activity sheet successfully raised awareness of the issues and made the teachers question their teaching practices. The training manual helped the teachers to implement the activities with the children independently. The support system for inclusion should include professionals and administrators. Parents haven't yet been involved in school activities although they are well informed about what is happening.

What kind of follow up would be best for children who drop out of mainstream classes?
Community groups and IE support group members could take a lead in initiating community based education for disabled youth and those who have dropped out of the mainstream education system. Learning life skills through apprenticeship in vocational skills in the broader community context can and should be part of IE.

Are there any examples of good practice in secondary schools?
Although there are many examples of good practice in the UK and Sweden, which were referred to in the discussions, the majority of seminar participants did not have any direct experience of inclusion in secondary schools. Inclusive education has been very successful, however, in pre-schools and in primary schools in many different countries despite the shortage of material resources. One of the problems with secondary schools, as with the very academic and competitive schools, is that they are exam orientated. IE programmes operating with minimal resources have opted to prioritise primary schools and primary teacher training colleges. In Papua New Guinea, for example, the policy on IE has not been applied to secondary education and the secondary teacher training college has made it clear that they have other priorities.

How can we broaden IE beyond disability?

"This seminar is full of contradictions. We have been exclusive in our selection of participants, by focusing primarily on disability."

Case study: The Philippines

The Self-Help Education Programme Appropriate for Cultural Communities (SHEPACC) is an education programme working towards sustainable development among the Manobo communities in Mindanao in the Philippines. SHEPACC is supported by Handicap International through Action Nord-Sud, which is working in partnership with Friends of the Lumads, a university-based NGO created in 1990 to promote the culture of the indigenous communities in the Philippines. The Manobo are a minority mountain community of 300,000 people, struggling for their survival. They have been gradually pushed off their ancestral lands and have found themselves living in extreme poverty in harsher and more ecologically impoverished environments. They are reluctant to integrate with the more technologically advanced settler communities who control the schools, shops and government offices.

The SHEPACC project began by rebuilding the Manobo's self-esteem and self-worth through the provision of basic and functional education for their children. Based on community learning as an empowerment process, the Manobo have become 'the actors of their own development'. Community Learning Centres are run by para-teachers, who are identified by the community and receive community-based and culturally appropriate training. Parent-teacher associations manage the centres. Approximately 10% of the children enrolled in the programme have so far been successfully included in mainstream schools.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Participatory follow-up support and systematic monitoring are essential to the success of all development work and will ensure greater understanding of the IE process by the practitioners. It is vital that practitioners have opportunities to share and reflect on their experience of implementing IE in order to draw lessons for policy making and programme development. Seminars like this one provide this sort of opportunity.

How can we monitor and evaluate the success of IE?

Case study: India

In 1986 the National Policy on Education prioritised 'education for all'. Decades of planned development for education prior to this had marginalised disabled children. In order to achieve 'access for all' teacher education had to be reformed. Teacher training was therefore a key strand to the Project Integrated Education (PIED) which was introduced in the late 1980s by the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), with financial support from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and UNICEF.

At level one all participating teachers attended a one week orientation course. This included: classroom management; equal opportunities for disabled children and those with difficulties in learning; adapting teaching methods; and assessment procedures. At level two, 10% of participating teachers attended a six week training course in more specific skills such as the reading and writing of braille, daily living skills, orientation and mobility, and speech and language training. Finally at level three a one year course was undertaken by about ten teachers who in turn provided support to a cluster of local primary schools. Within 15-18 months this model of training enables teachers to become self-sufficient in a given geographical area.

Although there were some very positive results in terms of attitude change, improved awareness and confidence in teaching children with a range of different abilities, categorisation and labelling of children continued. Also this method of teacher training was not very cost-effective, there were some valuable spin-offs for the education system as a whole, such as improved attendance rates.

"PIED in India has improved the enrolment, attendance and involvement of non-disabled children."

Key staff involved in PIED were subsequently invited to become part of the international team of advisers developing the UNESCO Teacher Education Resource Pack. The philosophy behind the development of the Pack helped to address some of the issues arising from the PIED experience. A multi-site action research project was established in many different parts of India to study the effectiveness of the strategies in the UNESCO Pack in changing teachers' and pupils' attitudes to teaching and learning and to pupil achievement.

The project aims to equip teachers to organise their schools and their teaching to meet the educational needs of all children. Teachers should be able to respond to the diversity of educational needs in the classroom.

Positive outcomes

Problems encountered

District Primary Education Programme
The District Primary Education Programme (DPEP) is a multi-faceted scheme which aims to overhaul the primary education system and is giving the movement towards inclusion a much needed boost. It involves decentralised planning which is highly flexible and contextual. The spiral capacity building model advocates recurrent short-term training and aims to build capacity over time, with ample opportunity for practice and feedback at the district level. This is based on an initial one month course. Subsequently training involves 5 refresher courses of 10-15 days duration. The advantage of this model is that teachers are not away from their schools for long periods, so the training does not disrupt the regular functioning of schools in the DPEP areas. There is continuous feedback and problem solving. All teachers in all schools are prepared to teach in an inclusive setting.

How can we measure the effectiveness of IE for deaf children?

"Deaf people need a strong deaf community. Once this has been strengthened deaf people can enjoy a full share of the benefit of living in a hearing society."

The participation of the director of the Kathmandu Association of the Deaf, Nepal, and his interpreter, helped to focus on the need for greater deaf awareness in society in general and among IE practitioners. The need for sign language development was stressed throughout the seminar. "The days of oralism are gone." Until all profoundly deaf children have access to sign language at an early age and have interpreters in the classroom, it is perhaps not possible to assess the effectiveness of IE for deaf children. It was acknowledged, however, that 'hard of hearing' children may be able to make use of lip-reading and speech, but for profoundly deaf children sign language is the only possible form of communication

A video of the Lesotho programme showed whole classes learning to sign in order to be able to communicate with the one or two deaf children in the school. Experience in Ghana has shown that mainstream teachers are much more open to learning to sign than the specialist teachers of the deaf who tend to be unwilling to change from an oralist approach. Where signing has been introduced into pre-schools in PNG, children have shown great competence and enthusiasm. An example was quoted from Mozambique of deaf adults becoming heavily involved in the teaching of small classes of deaf children as part of a CBR programme. The systematic creation of a Mozambican sign language is taking place alongside the community based classes for deaf children

How much is IE going to cost?
It is likely that the interim costs of changing the focus from special to inclusive will incur extra expenditure, but once it has been established it will be more cost-effective than running parallel systems, and it may be possible to redistribute some of the income allocated to special schools. In the early stages it may be necessary to raise funds from NGO sources to cover the cost of developing a teacher training curriculum and setting up a pilot project, but long-term costs should be kept to a minimum. The main cost of IE should be borne by the Ministry of Education.

3. How it Happened

This section describes the methodology used at the seminar.

The methodology used in the Agra seminar was not an optional extra; it was fundamentally linked to the aims and philosophy, and resulted in a process that was in itself an output - the seminar became a micro-model of an inclusive society, resulting in mutual enrichment and empowerment.

The medium is the message...

The Agra seminar had a clearly defined aim to help participants improve their practice so that education could become more inclusive. As international NGOs, we had a responsibility to ensure that our time and resources would be used to directly benefit the lives of children, particularly marginalised groups such as disabled children. Within the broad framework of 'inclusive education', there are also some clear underlying principles and values which would underpin the seminar. Therefore we could not justify organising an event which would seek to develop the careers of academics, or attract participants who did not have a clear commitment and responsibility to improving practice.

In addition, we felt strongly that the seminar itself should be a model of the inclusion it was seeking to promote; to respond to diversity, to be learner-focused, to ensure the format and structure evolved from participant's needs.

Experience and research from both the fields of development and of education had proved that sustainable learning and outcomes can best be achieved through a participatory approach. This combination of aims, beliefs and experience required us to find an appropriate methodology which would result in effective learning and outcomes, while respecting the fundamental aims of the seminar.

The approach to planning, the formulation of the parameters of the seminar, the criteria for selection of participants and facilitators and the choice of venue were all integral to the overall methodological approach. The methodology is an all-embracing philosophy and approach from initial planning to follow-up, and is much more than a collection of 'methods'. This section describes and reflects upon the approach and activities used during the six days of the seminar. The background and preparation for the seminar are described in Appendix 1 and Appendix 2.

'who is in charge? what are we going to do?'

When the facilitation team met for the first time in Delhi the day before the seminar began, there was an understandable anxiety about the task ahead. Even with the participant criteria, we were not sure who would actually arrive at the seminar and what their knowledge, skills and experiences would be. In beginning to get to know each other, it soon became apparent that between us, we had around 100 years of experience in development, education, work with disabled people, training and facilitation. We brought a wide range of different perspectives according to culture, gender, and personal experience of disability. What probably united us more than anything else, was a strong, tried and tested belief in:-

the capacity of all people, with and without formal education, rich or poor, young or old, whatever abilities and disabilities, to be active in their own learning, to set their own agendas, analyse their own problems, learn from each other and ultimately to find their own solutions.

This gave us both the confidence and the overall approach to facilitation. Our main task was to provide the means for participants to do their own learning, and to keep transferring the ownership of the seminar to the participants themselves.

We developed a basic structure for planning and facilitation:

This enabled both the facilitation team and participants to create the seminar on a daily basis, and to make adjustments based on lessons learnt during each day.

Getting to know each other
On the first evening, a buffet was held on the roof-top of the hotel to enable participants to mingle and to meet each other. The seminar had not formally started, but name-badges were ready to be collected. All the name-badges were placed face down on a table, and each participant chose one. The task was to then find the person whose name-badge they had and to go and introduce themselves. This was a successful exercise, and generated a lot of energy. In the process of seeking the named person, participants had to talk to many others.

'where is the agenda?'.. 'there isn't one.. you have to develop it'

After the introductions on the first day, participants were divided into small pre-assigned groups. Facilitators had compiled the groups to ensure a balance of experience and geographical region. Participants were asked to list the key questions which they wanted answered during the seminar, after briefly introducing each other.

Volunteers from each group then got together and compiled the questions into key themes, e.g. 'policy', 'attitudes'. These themes became working groups which met each day to try to answer some of the questions. Several groups organised extra meetings out of seminar hours in order to pursue their very useful discussions.

'what is your experience? have we got anything in common?'

Another exercise which helped participants get to make an initial analysis was the 'mountain journey' group exercise (Mountain Posters). Participants were again divided into groups. They created a picture of a large mountain with 'inclusive education' as the goal at the top. Boulders were drawn to represent the blocks to achieving this goal as experienced by participants. Signposts were drawn to represent ideas, events or issues which pointed the way to inclusion, and areas of green grass were drawn to represent existing strengths or achievements. This exercise was very successful resulting in very animated participation and some interesting posters. Participants were encouraged to make note of the way in which the seminar helped to remove some of the boulders as the week progressed.

"The seminar was a safe haven in a sea of conflict"

On-going evaluation exercises;
Central to the methodology was a continuous process of transferring 'ownership' onto the participants. This is not something that can be achieved by a one-off statement at the beginning of a workshop. People in groups will often naturally expect and allow others to lead and to make decisions on their behalf - and then often complain when the decisions do not meet their needs. The facilitators made a point of giving all participants an opportunity at the beginning and end of each day to evaluate the seminar and to make changes which would meet their needs. Some examples of evaluation activities are as follows:

Take Responsibility...
Find a partner. Sit with them and write down on a piece of paper one 'problem' or 'complaint' you have in the seminar. This could be an unanswered question, a difficulty with the venue, a problem with the activities. Then write down a possible solution to this problem, or let people know about your complaint. For example:

Problem: "I wanted to find out how to include children with cerebral palsy in my classroom"
Solution: "I will arrange to have breakfast with Mrs X who may be able to help me".

or

Problem: "I wanted to make a presentation but no-one has asked me to present".
Solution: "I will ask the facilitators to give me a space for tomorrow".

or

Problem: "We don't have enough time in small groups".
Solution: "I will raise this issue at the end of today to see if we can have more time in small groups tomorrow".

Then give the piece of paper to your partner, whose job is to make sure you act upon this and find a solution to your problem.

This simple exercise places the responsibility for meeting needs firmly with the participants. Daily evaluation ensures that participants' complaints and concerns can be dealt with each day. Feedback at the end of seminars may be useful for facilitators, but it is unlikely to benefit the participants.

Confidential Complaints...
In this exercise, participants are asked to give feedback on 'one thing you liked about today, or one thing you learned'. This feedback is given verbally in the large group. Then they are asked to 'write down one thing you were not happy with today' and to give this piece of paper to the facilitators.

The advantage of this exercise is that participants have a chance to really voice their opinion without fear of being criticised. For the facilitators it can provoke discomfort and anxiety because criticism comes from an anonymous source which means it can be difficult to address it directly. It also means that by being anonymous, participants are not taking full responsibility for their own opinions and complaints.

Inevitably there were many contradictory opinions. These were written up on an overhead and fed back to participants the next day. Some examples are as follows:

'too much group work'.
'not enough time for group work in the afternoon'.
'Presentations too long'.
'Participants' presentations' too brief'.

This exercise proved that it is impossible for everyone to be kept happy all of the time, and that humour and compromise are necessary.

Reflective Journal...
Participants were asked to spend ten minutes writing down some of their reflections on the day. 'What you learnt, what you most enjoyed, what you would like changed.'

This was essentially a private and personal reflection exercise which the participants were encouraged to do throughout. Some reflections were shared with the whole group on the day it was introduced.

Learning from each other

Presentations
It was decided that the seminar would not consist of presentations of papers and key note speeches, but instead there would be mostly group work and opportunities for participants to discuss and problem-solve together. But we also felt that in order to get discussions going, it would be useful to have presentations which would give participants an overview of other programmes, and the issues which were being addressed. Some participants obviously had more experience than others, and these people were asked to make presentations early in the week, keeping them short (around 15-20 minutes) and highlighting issues relevant to the themes of the working groups. Some people gave verbal presentations, others used overheads, slides or video.

On reflection, the overall balance of small-group work with short presentations was a good one. However, one main problem was the high level of skill and experience needed for a presentation to be stimulating and succinct in such a short time, often not in the mother-tongue, or through an interpreter, and often with no common background knowledge of the country, culture, geography, political situation etc. A key frustration for facilitators, was knowing that a particular presenter had a lot of extremely useful experience and lessons to share, and yet this sometimes did not come through in a presentation.

Such a workshop could also help people develop useful written materials on their work. Preparing hand-outs on basic geographical, socio-economic, political and education backgrounds of participants' countries could also save time.

A successful outcome of having daily evaluations and an on-going opportunity for participants to offer to present their work, was that those who were initially too shy, or who felt their experience was not so relevant, gradually began to come forward and insist that they had some time to present. In short, they became empowered as a result of the process. Later in the week, due to the larger number of participants who wanted to present, parallel groups were formed which also gave more opportunity for small group discussion.

Small Groups
In order to enable participants to have in-depth discussions on issues of relevance to themselves, small-groups formed the main part of the seminar. Working groups on key themes chosen by participants took place most days, and in addition, 'level' groups were formed. These arose from the expressed need by participants to meet with others who had a similar level of experience as themselves. This came mainly from those with most experience, who were frustrated at going over old ground with 'beginners'. Four groups were formed based on participants' backgrounds:

a) Those with around 10 years experience of IE
b) Those with some experience, including those involved in segregated special education trying to become more inclusive;
c) Those who defined themselves as 'beginners';
d) Those involved in CBR or other community development work, wanting to link into IE.

Facilitators were a bit concerned that this was similar to a grading or 'streaming' approach in schools which creates marginalisation and segregation! However, the difference was that this was short term, had clearly defined aims, and opportunities for other types of interaction. Not surprisingly, members of groups (b), (c), and (d) decided that they wanted to learn from the vast expertise of group (a), and demanded an opportunity to do so. Although facilitators felt that no-one was an 'expert' and each had different, but equally valid, contributions, we felt that we had to respond to participants' requests to avoid frustration and resentment. A panel session was therefore planned.

Panel Debate
Members of group (a) sat on a panel and were asked prepared questions from the other groups. This proved to be an invaluable learning experience. Although panel members had a wealth of experience, they rarely answered the questions in detail or accurately, they naturally spoke from their own experience which was very grounded in their own culture and context. Eventually one frustrated participant declared;

'I have asked my question but no-one is giving me the answer. Therefore I will answer my own question...'

This demonstrated perfectly the message that we all have our own expertise and only we can find solutions to our problems.

Lessons learnt from the process

Language and Communication
Small group work certainly facilitated more participation by those who were not using their mother-tongue and who used interpreters. However maybe there was insufficient background material disseminated prior to the seminar, which would have enabled people to translate in advance and get some idea of the issues.

Promoting critical thinking and problem-solving
There was an extremely wide range of views and experience within participants, despite having criteria for participation. This meant that it was a bigger challenge than envisaged to enable participants to find common ground to be able to really help each other to reflect critically on their work. Inevitably it was impossible to meet everyone's needs fully.

Disability Awareness
Facilitators had long discussions about the necessity or otherwise of a session on disability awareness. Although most participants have worked with disabled people, behaviour and awareness varied. Initially, there was some reticence and shyness because of being away from home, culture and context, so people tended to stay with those they knew, or with whom it was easiest to communicate. This changed very quickly and lively interactions took place between people from very different backgrounds (This is demonstrated well by the video of the seminar). However, facilitators noted that not everyone seemed comfortable, or aware, of how to relate to disabled people. For example:

On reflection, it would have been useful to have an awareness-raising session focusing on our own attitudes and behaviours, before going on to discuss other people's. But this cannot be done in a hurry, and needs sensitive handling.

Facilitation Skills
The facilitation team felt that the seminar was an extremely challenging and stimulating experience. We felt that a team which combined people of different gender, culture, disability and experience was not only enriching but essential to the success of the seminar. Some of the skills which made the seminar work were:

The Agra seminar proved that it is possible for a large group of very diverse persons to come together to learn in the same environment. Learning was fun, participant-focused, and relevant to people's lives. Diversity of background, culture, language, age, disability and gender was welcomed, celebrated and catered for.

The facilitators "managed to create an atmosphere which was completely different from any other seminar I have ever attended"

Yet there is plenty of room for improvement. At the next seminar we want to see children, ex-pupils, people with other types of disability, and people representing other issues of difference. We need to continue learning to listen, to examine our own attitudes and beliefs, to question our assumptions, to be prepared to learn from others in surprising ways, and to share generously from our own knowledge

4. Lessons Learned

This section summarises the main lessons learnt and conclusions drawn. It also highlights some issues which need further attention.

Issues that were resolved

"This seminar has helped me to see the positive aspects of globalisation. Instead of exploiting the poor, we have developed strategies to address poverty."

"It was truly an enriching and exciting workshop where ideas, initiatives and opportunities were discussed in a participatory manner."

"The beauty of IE is its flexibility"

Issues which still require further discussion

What Next?

The report
The report, and the accompanying video, can be used by participants as promotional material for influencing policy makers and as reference material for their own practice. EENET's newsletter, 'Enabling Education' Issue No 2, focuses on the Agra seminar and can therefore also be used as reference and promotional material.

The experiences shared and material collected at the Agra seminar will form the basis of a more substantial publication in the longer term. The provisional title for this publication is 'Lessons from the South' and it will consist of a collection of case studies illustrating the key themes identified at the seminar. The publication will be commissioned and edited by EENET.

Participants
Individual and country action plans were written by participants on the last day of the seminar. They included plans to disseminate the papers shared, and lessons learnt; to use the UNESCO Resource Pack; to hold inter-ministerial meetings on IE; and to establish greater links between IE and CBR.

"The development of further certificate studies in Inclusive Education with an emphasis on school renewal revitalisation of the teaching process, flexible and creative methodologies and diverse strategies for removing barriers that are limiting for children"

Graham Leach, PNG.

Participants pledged to publicise EENET in their home countries and to submit project information, stories of success and failure for the newsletter, photos, jokes and cartoons. Already EENET has received several papers from participants who have re-written their presentations in the light of the discussions at the seminar. Information about the Palestine Child-to-Child project was submitted on disk and this is now available. Finally many of the photos featured in the report were submitted by participants.

Seminars
The seminar participants in Agra proposed a follow-up seminar in the year 2000. Several venues were suggested, but there has been no agreement about the exact date or location. It was suggested that it could be useful for the next seminar to be linked in some way with two international conferences due to be held in the year 2000. These are: the International Special Education Congress (ISEC), which is due to be held in Manchester, UK, in July, and a UN Education for All conference which is a follow up to the Jomtien Conference of 1990.

It may be more appropriate to plan for a regional, rather than an international, seminar. It is likely that any follow up meetings or seminars would be organised by EENET, with support from IDDC. Applications from agencies and/or countries wishing to host any future seminars should therefore be addressed to EENET.

Appendix 1 - Preparation for the Seminar
Appendix 2 - The Logistics
Appendix 3 - Agenda
Appendix 4 - Programme Profiles
Appendix 5 - Participants Addresses
Appendix 6 - Useful Sources of Information on Inclusive Education
Appendix 7 - International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC)

 

Reference:
Title: Lessons from the South: Making a Difference. An International Disability and Development Consortium
Author: IDDC
Date: 1998
Link: http://www.eenet.org.uk/resources/docs/agra.php