project 2: inclusive education

Building Teaching Capacity for Inclusive Education

Project Goal:                    
To build Teaching Capacity for Inclusive Education so that education professionals (teachers, school leaders and teacher aides) in five Pacific Island countries more effectively engage every child in learning, to increase equitable learning outcomes for children in the participating countries.

Funder: NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT)

Participating Countries: Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Tonga and Vanuatu. Cook Island

Project Lead: Dr Debi Futter-Puati (Director USP Cook islands)

CI Project Team: Andre Hansen (Inclusive Education Advisor CI MoE); Sue Marshall (Special Education Adviser CI MoE); Lysia Stringer (Special Needs Coordinator, Apii Nikao); Dr Amanda Torr (USP CI)

Rationale for the Project
This project aims to give effect to the Pacific Regional Inclusive Education Framework (PRIEF) adopted by the Pacific Forum Ministers of Education in April 2021 which states that “Quality inclusive education is a fundamental right of all learners. It is a principle that values the well-being of all students, respects their inherent dignity and acknowledges individual requirements and ability to effectively be included in and contribute to society. It involves creating an education system which ensures the access, participation and learning achievement of all, including people disadvantaged by factors such as disability, gender, poverty, cultural, ethnic or linguistic group, migration, conflict and homelessness.”  

The Project
This project considers inclusive from both technical educational and cultural perspectives that are relevant to the life, communities, and cultures of the participating countries. Contextual understandings will be grounded in indigenous frameworks for problem solving and inclusive engagement, with integration of theoretical and empirical frameworks and evidence.The project uses a co-design process to build sound foundations for sustainable social inclusion in action that are grounded in the experiences of the Pacific people, informed by the relevant international discourses, and emphasise developing inclusive school communities. The co-design process will directly contribute to strengthening relationships between different stakeholders within the system, and to build shared understandings and accountabilities for agreed changes.

Project outcomes:
The intended outcomes of this project are:
·       The creation of an enabling, supportive environment for teaching and learning that caters to needs of all children in each of the Participating Countries.
·       Skilled and confident teachers with capability to integrate inclusive pedagogy into teaching.
·       Enhanced understanding by teachers, teacher aides and school leaders of Inclusive Education and its application in their teaching and learning environments.
·       Access by teachers, teacher aides and school leaders to current, high quality, evidence-based information to encourage inclusive pedagogy relevant to their contexts.