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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Liberia: ‘Promoting Inclusive Education for People with disabilities’

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A daylong dialogue on inclusive Education and Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) opportunities for persons with disabilities was over the weekend held in Monrovia. The Dialogue was part of the coordinated Action on Disability in Liberia (CAD) project.

The dialogue organized by AIFO-Liberia Brought together stakeholders the National Commission on Disability and Policy makers from the Ministries of Education and Youths and Sports, to discuss to examine the current landscape of inclusive education and TVET opportunities for People with Disabilities (PWDs) in the national context.

The dialogue also identified key challenges and barriers hindering the full participation of PWDs in education and vocational training and  explore innovative approaches and best practices in promoting inclusive education and enhancing TVET options for PWDs as well as establishing a roadmap for collaborative action and advocacy to advance the inclusion of PWDs in educational and vocational settings.

The round table dialogue is an activity that seeks to ensure that key policy makers, employers, armed forces, police, among others, actively promote the rights of PWDs, prioritize their inclusion in the employment sector and their protection from sexual abuse and harassment.

Mr. Luther S. Mendin ,Project Officer/AIFO Liberia said,  roundtable dialogue is also geared towards ensuring greater awareness on disability to key policy makers and stakeholders and will solicit affirmative actions towards this cause. This activity is being executed at county and national levels within the framework of the Coordinated Action on Disability in Liberia program.

According to him, CAD-L implementing partners at national level and OPDs and trade unions at county level will lead the organization of advocacy actions, such as round tables and awareness raising meetings. The national roundtable dialogue also focused on the overarching theme of TVET and Inclusive Education.

He also said, Inclusive education is a fundamental human right that ensures equal access and opportunities for all individuals, including those with disabilities. Despite steady progress in promoting inclusive education practices in Liberia, persons with disabilities continue to face barriers to quality education and vocational training.

“Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) plays a crucial role in preparing individuals for the workforce, yet PWDs often encounter obstacles in accessing inclusive TVET programs. Recognizing the need for concerted efforts to address these challenges, a national dialogue focusing on inclusive education and TVET opportunities for PWDs is essential.

“By convening a national roundtable dialogue, we seek to bring together diverse stakeholders to collectively address the systemic challenges faced by PWDs in accessing inclusive education and TVET opportunities.”

The National Roundtable Dialogue on Inclusive Education and TVET Opportunities for PWDs aims to facilitate a collaborative platform for stakeholders to exchange knowledge, share best practices, and develop inclusive strategies for promoting the rights and empowerment of PWDs. The dialogue   featured plenary sessions, interactive panel discussions, and networking opportunities to engage participants in meaningful dialogue and action-oriented outcomes.

Some objectives of the dialogue were to examine the current landscape of inclusive education and TVET opportunities for PWDs in the national context.  To identify key challenges and barriers hindering the full participation of PWDs in education and vocational training.

To explore innovative approaches and best practices in promoting inclusive education and enhancing TVET options for PWDs. To establish roadmap for collaborative action and advocacy to advance the inclusion of PWDs in educational and vocational settings.

It is expected that, Comprehensive report capturing key insights, recommendations, and action points from the dialogue will be made.

Policy briefs outlining actionable strategies and recommendations for promoting inclusive education and TVET for PWDs.  Resource toolkit for stakeholders, including educational institutions, policymakers, and NGOs, to implement inclusive practices and support PWDs in education and training.

 

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