Inclusive education policy
Palestine now has a policy which guarantees the rights of the disabled students. The Inclusive education policy was launched on September 29th 2014. The policy is the outcome of the cooperation between Diakonia/NAD, the Ministry of Education in Palestine and Save the Children International. Its purpose is to secure that the educational system respects all students and meet their different needs.
Broad representation from the society
The event where the policy was launched was lead by the Minister of Education and Higher Education, professor doctor Khawla Shakhshir. Representatives from national and international organizations and authorities were also present at the event.
Education - a fundamental right
The Ministry of Education and Higher Education emphasized on the need to employ all the possibilities to ensure that all students receive education; being one of their fundamental rights as stipulated by international conventions and international laws and norms, and the need also to work on ensuring the inclusion of all students despite the diversity of their abilities and the need to insure special education for those with disabilities, through different programs and partnerships whether nationally, regionally or internationally.
A strong commitment for incluseive education
Mr. Mohamad Abu Zeid, Deputy Minister of Education and Higher Education stressed on the ministry’s commitment to the principles of achieving inclusive education which should be in line with its strategic plan and its development programs along with the sustainability of what it has been initiated to institutionalize the integration and make it a major part of the educational practice. Moreover, he ensured that the ministry’s role is to ensure a safe learning environment especially after the Israeli aggression on Gaza Strip. Additionally, he pointed to the efforts made by the ministry over the past years and the interest in the inclusive education system which requires the integration of people with disabilities, and the development of curricula for the benefit of all.
A long cooperation
The Inclusive education policy is the outcome of a long cooperation between Diakonia/NAD and the Ministry of Education. The policy is a trend that respects all students and meet their different needs. All parties involved are proud that Palestine now has a policy which guarantees the rights of the disabled students.
There is a need to overcome barriers/ obstacles that prevent opportunities for education and participation for all students and explained that the inclusive education policy in Palestine will provide a framework for education that respects all students, meets their needs and protects their right to education.
Implementation of the policy
Regarding future plans, the director of Special Education Department at the ministry; Ms. Shifa Sheikha noted that there are future plans which will help in the implementation of the inclusive education policy in collaboration with all departments at the ministry, in addition to governmental, private, local and international institutions.