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 International Organization’s Efforts A.    UNESCO UNESCO has been playing a standing role in developing and providing education for underprivileged and marginalized groups. In 1990s, Lena Saleh (Chief, Special Education Unit, UNESCO) played a key role in leading the campaign “to ensure the right to education of all children and adults with special needs” (Power, 2014) including refugees, those who have disabilities and people from ethnic and religious minorities. After the Conference on Education for All, UNESCO organized five regional seminars for key players in preparation for another major world conference on education in 1994. It is called the “World Conference on Special Needs Education Access and Quality,” later titled The Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special Needs Education which was held in Salamanca, Spain. (Shukla, 2005) More than 300 participants from 92 governments and 25 international organizations have gathered in the conference to discuss and consider the fundamental policy shifts required to promote the inclusive education approach. The Conference most particularly gave attention on enabling schools to serve the needs of all children, especially the underserved groups. (UNESCO, 1994) This conference ensured decisive support and implementation of inclusive education schemes. The Framework for Action on Special Needs which was adopted by the Conference gave guidelines for the specific steps that need to be taken at the national, regional and international level, based on the principle that “person with special needs should be able to attend ordinary schools which integrate them into an instructional system capable of meeting their learning needs.” (Power, 2014) The framework targeted the underserved groups which include street children, HIV-AIDS orphans, indigenous and minority groups, refugees and those living in isolated communities. (Shukla, 2005) Wide range of challenges are faced by schools in accommodating children with special needs and also in meeting their educational needs. Schools have to come up with solutions to successfully educating all children, including those who are disadvantaged and have disabilities. The emerging consensus that these children should be included in the educational arrangement that are designed for the majority of children. This, thus, led to the concept of the inclusive school and education. (UNESCO, 1994)One of UNESCO’s special inclusive education programs, “UNESCO’s Education Programme for Children in Need” focused on the needs of street and working children. The program was carried out in cooperation with sister agencies and private bodies to provide these vulnerable children non-formal education to equip them with practical survival, health and work skills. (Power, 2014) It started from fund-raising events organized by Ute-Henriette Ohoven, Special Ambassador for Children in Need, supported by UNESCO’s Dieter Berstecher, Director of the EFA Global Action Programme. (Power, 2014) Since its establishment, more than 40 million USD has been raised and have fully and directly invested into over 400 projects in 97 countries across the globe. (UNESCO, n.d.) Furthermore, UNESCO provided assistance to five countries, namely China, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Mongolia in support of the commitment. The program revolves around promoting street literacy and non-formal training for children in need of special protection and out of school youth. Although access to universal primary and secondary education is yet to be achieved especially in countries with wide social economic gap, substantial progress was made in offering free and compulsory education in accordance with the United Nations Convention  on the Rights of the Child and other international consensus. (UNESCO, 2015) The movement’s progress has been particularly remarkable in Sub-Saharan countries where 15 countries have abolished school fees since 2000 as adopted in their legislations. (UNESCO, 2015) Moreover, financial help from development partners such as World Bank and the International Monetary Fund benefitted poor through supporting household burden caused  by other school fees for transpiration, uniform, school supplies and the like. The financial aid has relieved parents’ concerns in financing their children’s schooling. These approaches have made education more accessible and attractive for children who have to work on the street or in impoverished areas. However, Shukla points out that these approaches and intervention by UNESCO for promoting education have still a long way to go.  Shukla summarizes the overall challenges, critical issues and corresponding recommendation to UNESCO’s program in the table below.

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