The 2019 UKFIET conference focused on Inclusive Education Systems: futures, fallacies and finance. The sessions explored issues through a number of themes:
- Future directions in inclusive education systems
- Problematizing inclusive systems
- Education financing for global equity and inclusion
- Education technology and data science for inclusive systems
- Education system actors: strengthening inclusive practice
- System responses to conflict and crises
There were many emerging issues to come out of the rich presentations and discussions and some issues were summarised by the conference committee, and highlighted here.
How do we ensure that equitable access and quality education for all are achieved within a generation? This theme was challenged to think about the future and the theme Convenors highlight some of their key takeaways in this summary, including a focus in areas such as early learning provision, skills, learning of children with disabilities, secondary school, scalable solutions, indigenous knowledge and future research.
This theme was challenged in looking at how to fund inclusive education systems, and how to make that funding more effective and more responsive to the needs of governments, communities and learners. The convenors discuss some of the issues discussed during their sessions, and conclude that:
- There is a lack of clarity on who is accountable for financing inclusive education, and
- Several actors have different indicators of inclusive education – some of these refer to equality, whereas others focus on equity.
One of the Convenors shares five reflections that emerged through discussions in sessions under this theme, that relate to:
- Power and Creativity of the Community
- Actively learning from and reflecting on challenges
- Diverse EdTech offer met by expanding demand
- Skills need to evolve with the evolving education landscape
- Technology along cannot lead learning
One of the Convenors shared her reflections here. Perhaps most poignant was this thought:
One of the most searching questions raised was, “What are we including into?” The message was clear – inclusion into untransformed and oppressive systems that perpetuate inequality is not the inclusion that we seek.
Strengthening inclusive practice of education system actors: What we can expect to see at the conference in September
- Strengthening the inclusive practice of Teachers
- Linking curricula and pedagogy for inclusion
- Designing an inclusive Teacher Workforce
- What works to support girls’ education
- Innovative programming for inclusion
- Developing innovative practices to support to teachers
- Strengthening the inclusive practice of actors beyond those of teachers.
- Education is not just a technical process of providing literacy and numeracy to learners.
- Learning does not only take place within formal educational settings.
- The world today experiences an unprecedented level of mass exodus due to violent conflicts and natural disasters that both cripples the capacity of formal education systems to deliver quality education as well as ruptures the idea of education as a process of cultivating national values, visions and aspirations.
- Education is increasingly implicated in the debate about radicalisation and violent extremism.
Several blogs have been written since the conference by presenters about issues discussed under this theme.