A Different Understanding about Difference Learning

On 17 February 2017, UNESCO MGIEP together with Orkids, co-hosted the first Parent Empowerment Network at the India Islamic Cultural Centre, New Delhi. The event brought together experts in the field of learning differences and nearly 200 parents of children with learning differences.

The event started with a short video message by Mr. Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister, Government of NCT of Delhi, Jenna Ellis, Chair and Katrina Maestri, Board member of the Parent Education Network, USA who were the inspiration partner for the event. The Guest of Honour was Dr. Anantha K Duraiappah, Director, UNESCO MGIEP who spoke about the role of his Institute in achieving inclusive, equitable and quality education as part of the Sustainable Development Goal 4. He highlighted the need to focus on the 1 in 6 children who have some form of difference learning, in order to achieve the Sustainable Development agenda 2030.

The event saw a number of people come forward to share their experiences. The co-founder of Grand Slam Baseball in India, narrated his own journey of coming to terms with dyslexia and how he was able to flourish and pursue his passion with the help of his family and teachers. A number of parent whose children have one or more forms of learning differences also shared heart-warming stories, the journey, the challenges they faced and how they overcame all hurdles to make their children happy and successful in life.

A separate panel discussion was conducted with experts to advise on the multiple aspects related to the health, career and life of children with LDs. The specialists who spoke included –

  • Amit Sen, child and adolescent psychiatrist,
  • Pervin Malhotra, career guidance expert,
  • Roma Bhagat, lawyer; and
  • Poonam Batra, wealth management consultant

The parents were also given an opportunity to interact with these experts and ask questions related to their own experiences.

UNESCO MGIEP launched the SixthSpace web-portal at the event. SixthSpace ( is an open source, digital one stop repository of all information related to difference learning.

UNESCO MGIEP believes that this event is the first step towards creating a network of parents who can come together with the teachers to take action for a better future of their children, especially in view of the “The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill – 2016” passed by the Parliament of India on 16 December 2016.

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For more details on the programme, please contact:

Karanpreet Kaur, Programme Officer:

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