Sunday, 25 Aug 2019
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Palestinian National Inclusive Education Programme Launched PDF Print E-mail

Under the patronage of the Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr. Ali Abu Zuhri, President of International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI) Mr. Lord Colin Low, President of CBM Mr. Dave McComiskey and the General Director of Counseling and Special Education Mrs. Rima Zeid Kilani, a National Inclusive Education Programme for Persons with Impaired Vision in Palestine was launched in a public ceremony at Red Crescent Grand Hall in Ramallah, in presence of BASR team as the secretary of the initiative, as well as in participation of several representatives of partner ministries, educational establishments, and local and international organizations.The National Inclusive Education Programme is designed to address the failure of UN’s Education for All (EFA) initiative that was launched in 1990, for including children with disabilities into schools, particularly those requiring alternative modes of communication, according to the Palestinian Education Development Plan 2008-12 acknowledgments, especially because the facilities supportive to students with disabilities are not quietly adequate to their needs. Therefore the Programme will focus on measures to improve education through resourcing and equipping students and education personnel, enhancing physical accessibility, developing quality health provision and forging strong partnerships among those who undertake inclusive initiatives.In his opening speech of the ceremony, Dr. Abu Zuhri remarked the absolute need of children with disabilities to more support, and therefore the Ministry in partnership with CBM and ICEVI will pay higher attention to promote inclusion in Palestine on basis of the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination in Education for the year 1962, Salamanca Statement in 1994, and the Inclusive Education Programme launched by UNESCO in 2000. In addition Dr. Abu Zuhri commended the special education schools in Palestine for taking responsibility with the public schools on promoting inclusion among students with and without disability, adding that 1352 students with low vision and 74 students with total vision impairment were enrolled at public schools during the academic year of 2012-2013.Mr. Colin Low said: “ICEVI wholeheartedly welcomes and supports this initiative.  The UNCRPD recognizes the right of all people with disabilities to inclusive education, which helps to break down barriers between people with disabilities and others, transforms negative attitudes and enables students with disabilities to realize their full potential."In meantime Mr. McComiskey emphasized on the importance of the initiative in enabling people with vision impairment to access better life opportunities, developing their personal capabilities and skills, so they can become active members of Palestinian society.At the end of the ceremony Mrs. Kilani proclaimed the aims of the initiative that include ensuring advanced education in inclusive environment, facilitating the access to different educational services, empowering local communities to achieve equality and full participation of people with disabilities in schooling and higher education, through national and comprehensive plan by governmental institutions, civilly society and international partners.