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Societies work best when all its members are fully included

Societies, like businesses, function best when all resources are fully used and inclusive education is the only mechanism available that ensures all human resources to be fully used for the sake of the whole society, said Sophie Beaumont, Task Manager for Education and Gender issues at the Delegation of the European Union in Skopje, during the second regional PolicyNet meeting that took place in Skopje on 27-28 May 2015.

The goals of the meeting for the members of the PolicyNet were to endorse the Regional Policy Recommendations on inclusive education by the PolicyNet and to develop action plans for inclusive education at the Beneficiary level. During the meeting, members also signed a pledge to advocate the implementation of the policy recommendations on inclusive education in their national policies and systems.

“This pledge is only a very small part of what we are trying to achieve through our project, but at the same time it is an important symbol of dedication and a symbol of the need for a truly comprehensive approach in creating inclusive school environments”, said Vesna Atanasova, Senior Project Officer for the Joint EU/CoE Regional Support for Inclusive education project.  

Seven workshops in each of the seven Beneficiaries covered by the project were organised as a final evaluation for Regional Policy Recommendations by all actors involved in their creation. Teachers, principals, schools and parents, representatives of education ministries, state education inspectorates and other institutions and agencies took part in a fully participatory process for drafting these recommendations.

With the regional PolicyNet meeting in Skopje, the endorsement process concludes, and the recommendation will now be submitted to beneficiary-level policy makers, who should translate them into policy actions. For this to be achieved, members of the PolicyNet developed beneficiary-level action plans which will facilitate the process of advocating and adopting these recommendations. 

The Policy Recommendations include measures for increased schools’ capacity, improved teacher competences and for developing mechanisms for monitoring and supporting the inclusive process. Methods of redefining enrolment policies and improved inter-institutional cooperation are also part of the recommendations. The goal of these recommendations is to stimulate the creation of more inclusive school environments in the South Eastern Europe region.