Education is a cornerstone of society, and it is our responsibility to ensure that every child has access to quality and inclusive education.
On March 2, a high-level conference on inclusive education organised within the joint European Union/Council of Europe Project “Building Capacity for Inclusion in Education – INCLUDE” was held in Pristina.
The event brought together more than 100 representatives from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, municipalities, schoolteachers and school principals, CSOs, embassies and international organisations to discuss and join forces to strengthen inclusive and democratic education policies and practice.
“We want all our children to feel welcomed in schools. The focus of the Government is to create a fair society, a society where schools offer fair and equal opportunities for all students to thrive and realise their full potential. A society where no child is behind. Education is the main pillar of sustainable development and I applaud the INCLUDE project for its contributions toward this aim and for this taking the holistic approach”, said Prime Minister Albin Kurti in his opening address.
The Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation Arberie Nagavci highlighted the project´s key achievements putting a special emphasis on its comprehensive approach, connecting inclusive policy making with better education practices. “The project will create more possibilities for employment and will help to overcome multiple barriers that we face” said Ms Nagavci.
“I am pleased that the project activities align with priorities of the beneficiary’s new Education Strategic Plan 2022 – 2026 but also with the main pillars of the Council of Europe’s new Education Strategy currently being developed and expected to be adopted at the Standing Conference of Education Ministers in September this year” said Villano Qiriazi, Head of the Education Department at the Council of Europe. The resources developed within the project will thus have positive impact not only locally but globally in all CoE Member states, concluded Mr Qiriazi.
“The project comes at the right time” said Johannes Stenbaek Madsen, Head of Co-operation, at the European Union Office in Kosovo. Students face an increasingly complex and competitive world. “The European Union remains fully committed to leaving no one behind and will continue to support quality education for all, including through the next phase of the INCLUDE project continuing our close co-operation with the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation and the Council of Europe” he added.
The conference also featured experts who delivered interactive presentations in the context of the Council of Europe’s work in the field of quality inclusive education and related to the Reference Framework for Competences for Democratic Culture and Digital Citizenship Education.
After much fruitful discussion, Sarah Keating, Head of the Division for Formal and Non-formal Education at the Council of Europe, presented the key conclusions and recommendations from the conference to strengthen the inclusiveness of the local education system.