On July 10, UNESCO IITE hosted a webinar on the 2020 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report and the presentation of the country profile of the Russian Federation. Two weeks earlier, the GEM Report team officially launched its 2020 GEM Report on inclusion. Invited experts and those responsible for the education policy in the Russian Federation participated in the webinar, as well as the international expert on the policy analysis.
Presentation of the 2020 GEM Report
At the opening of the webinar Director of UNESCO IITE Tao Zhan noted that inclusion in education is a very important and challenging theme during the pandemic and for the future of education systems. Moreover, this is a key area where it is necessary to apply advanced digital technologies and strengthen the cooperation of all partners. The Senior Policy Analyst of the GEM Report team supported this message by highlighting the main issues and tasks, which the Report outlined.
We need to see learner diversity not as a problem, but as an opportunity. Inclusion cannot be achieved if it is seen as an inconvenience or if people harbour the belief that children’s capacity to learn is fixed. Stigma, stereotypes and discrimination mean millions are alienated inside classrooms meaning they are less likely to progress through education.
– Bilal Barakat, Senior Policy Analyst of the GEM Report team, UNESCO
The country profile of the Russian Federation
The country profiles immensely contributed to the Report by providing the results of the analysis on the inclusive education in different countries. UNESCO IITE together with the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN) prepared the country profile of the Russian Federation. It covers the key points of inclusion and regulatory mechanisms at the state level and in the constituent entities. The analysis was carried out in 5 areas: the definition of inclusive education; laws, policies and programs; management and finance; teachers and supporting staff; data and monitoring.
As a result, the report presents the outcomes of an analytical study highlighting the key issues of the implementation of inclusive education policies. In the process of the preparation, we sought to cover all the mechanisms that could lead children, youth and adults to the exclusion from education. Moreover, we described the situation taking into account 4 characteristics: gender, disability, poverty, ethnicity and language.
– Natalia Amelina, Senior National Project Officer in Education, UNESCO IITE
Inclusive education in action
The representatives of 2 organizations, whose activities address inclusive education, shared practical examples of its implementation in the Russian Federation. Yulia O. Filatova, Director of the Educational and Scientific Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Special and Inclusive Education, Moscow State Pedagogical University (MPGU), spoke about the long-standing successful training of future educators on teaching students with special educational needs. The university also actively promotes the continuous professional development of its staff. For instance, all teachers received the advanced training on the quality of education of higher education students with disabilities last year.
Andrey V. Mochalin, the first deputy general director of the “Cultural and Sport Rehabilitation Centre” of the All Russia Association of the Blind (CSRK VOS), described the vocational training courses that focused primarily on the practical work of teachers with/out disabilities. Young professionals can seize this unique opportunity in a short time to gain the valuable experience of working with people with visual impairments.
Thus, the webinar ended with questions from participants and a discussion about the future of inclusive education. The participants agreed that there are many challenges, which people with disabilities still face in the Russian Federation and beyond. As a result, there is a need to search for possible solutions to existing problems.