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Within its remit to assess progress towards achieving the 10 targets of SDG 4 (Sustainable Development Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all), the 2020 edition of UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report puts a special focus on inclusion in education. The report looks into the obstacles for achieving inclusive education environments, into support needs for students, teachers and systems, as well as the different interpretations of inclusion, both in policy and practice.
“A key barrier to inclusion in education is the lack of belief that it is possible and desirable” is one of the key messages from the GEM report. This refers to culturally oblivious teaching practices or lack of professional development opportunities for teachers, systemic segregation of student groups by ability or origin, lack of targeted funding for the learning communities most in need of support. The available data collected for the report confirm how much background, identity and ability impact on the education opportunities, paired with discrimination and stigmatisation, leading to millions out of school or with only the lowest education levels.
With the view to supporting more inclusive education and towards the 2030 targets, the report puts forward 10 recommendations, calling for a paradigm shift from seeing diversity as a problem to seeing it as an opportunity. The recommendations call for
The full GEM report and a summary are available here.