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By Staff Reporter : PNG Today

PDF to launch Indicators for Effective Inclusive Education in the Region


Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) in partnership with our member organisations in Solomon Islands, Fiji, Samoa and Vanuatu will be launching the Pacific Indicators for Disability Inclusive Education (INDIE) toolkits in these respective countries. The launch of the indicators will be on 19 February in the Solomon Islands, 24 February in Fiji, 26 February in Samoa and March in Vanuatu.
The launch and related training to inclusive education providers, marks the end of a three year project covering the four pacific islands, and the work that have been put in to realise disability inclusive education in the region.
The Pacific INDIE was also awarded by the UN Zero Project in recognition of its innovation in the field of inclusive education and Mr Setareki Macanawai, Chief Executive Officer of PDF was in Vienna to present on the project and also receive the award.
“As the regional peak body on disability led by persons with disabilities themselves and their representative organisations, the Pacific INDIE research project reaffirms and upholds the international disability movement slogan of Nothing about Us without Us. Inclusive education is about persons with disabilities and their full and effective participation in the education system in a non-discriminatory and least restrictive environment. The success of Pacific INDIE has a lot to do with partnership among the project partners and its impact on inclusive education in the Pacific, and will also depend on how effective education stakeholders in Pacific Island countries work together,” Mr. Macanawai said.
The project is a partnership between PDF, Monash University, CBM Nossal and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.  
According to the lead researcher, Professor Umesh Sharma of Monash University "The development of Pacific INDIE has brought about voices of people from the Pacific in identifying ways the countries would like to move forward in implementing inclusive education. 
“I believe that the use of the Pacific INDIE will act as a catalyst to change the existing system across the Pacific. It has potential to enhance access to quality education to children and youth with disabilities who have been often excluded from participating in the education system", said Professor Sharma.
Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), Social Policy Advisor Mr. Filipe Jitoko said that the Pacific INDIE toolkit will support the development of the Pacific Regional Inclusive Education Framework.
“The Pacific INDIE will greatly support the development of the Pacific Regional Inclusive Education Framework which PIFS and PDF have been tasked to put together by Forum Education Ministers. The outcomes of the project are highly relevant to Pacific context as persons with disabilities and their respective organizations in the region have been actively involved in the discussions on the indicators. PIFS appreciates the work undertaken and will integrate the outcomes as part of the indicators in the monitoring of regional education frameworks such as the PEDF”, said Mr Jitoko.
The project was funded by the government of Australia.

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