Mumbai, India—-The much-awaited first edition of the Global Citizen India Festival held in Mumbai on November 19 saw 80,000 young people from across India join forces with political representatives and leaders to bring about real change to India and the world.
Leaders from the local, state, and federal government came together on stage at the festival as well as in video appearances and messages to the Global Citizens watching around the world to commit to help realise Quality Education (SDG 4), Gender Equality (SDG 5) and Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6)
Those physically present at the festival represented the voice of a much larger mass—In just two months, more than 500,000 youth in India took more than 200,000 lakh actions calling on political, faith and business leaders along with celebrities to be more accountable on education, gender equality, water and sanitation.
UNESCO MGIEP partnered with Global Citizen India to create a unique SDG 4 Inclusive Education Journey to advocate for difference learners – the one in six people worldwide who require their educational materials, teacher delivery, and learning assessment to be different from standard education models and practices. Difference learning includes the following diagnoses (or 4Ds): Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia and Dysgraphia. Learning difficulties, unlike physical disabilities, cannot be easily seen and detected hence, we call this The Seen Unseen!
A total of 27,800 young global citizens participated in the two-step, 10-day long inclusive education journey.
It required them to sign a petition to the ministers of education asking them to include the needs of different learners in the New Education Policy as well as tweet to them the following:
#EducationMinistersofIndia.Please recognize the need for universal screening tests and trained teachers for different learners
The Global Citizen India concert was headlined by music giants Coldplay and had international artists such as Jay-Z and Demi Lovato also performing alongside Bollywood bigwigs such as Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan.
UNESCO MGIEP, in partnership with Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT D) organized a workshop on Difference Learning for instructors from Saturday, 09 April 2016 to Sunday, 10 April 2016 at IIT Delhi.
Difference Learning applies to the 1 in 6 people worldwide who require their educational materials, teacher delivery, and learning assessment to be different from standard education models and practices.
Dr. Nandini Singh of the National Brain Research Centre of India defined different learners as those who have specific problems with the content and structure of learning materials such as:
language-based learning disability and the most common cause of reading difficulties.
affects reading and related language-based processing skills.
common condition that affects the way the brain processes written and spoken language.
Children with Dysgraphia typically have motor and processing weaknesses that make it hard for them to get their thoughts down on paper — even when they understand the subject matter.
Signs include poor handwriting, difficulty sizing letters or keeping them in line, an awkward pencil grip, twisting the body uncomfortably or getting extremely tired when writing or drawing, rushing to get writing over with quickly and actively avoiding writing.
Sensory Integration disorder (SID) / Dyspraxia:
problems with hand–eye coordination, balance, manual dexterity.
can be as simple as difficulty in holding a pencil or ball.
Nearly 400 participants including 300 teachers, special educators and administrators from public and private schools in Delhi region attended the 2-day workshop and actively participated in the sessions.
International and national experts were invited to present on definitions, symptoms, the technological interventions of screening, assessment and diagnostics including:
Australian Dyslexia Association,
Maharashtra Dyslexia Association,
AIM Institute of Learning and Research,
National Brain Research Centre,
Alpha to Omega Centre
The objectives of the workshop were to:
generate awareness on the different types of difference learning;
create a support network of schools and organizations;
create a toolkit with resources, points of contact, diagnosis and improvement; and
encourage inclusive education
There were intensive discussions around the myths and facts related to the issues, evaluation and assessment models, leveraging the available support system and tips to handle a wide variety of children needs in classrooms.
All the participants of the workshop were given a set of two activity books—MakeSpace Theory Book and MakeSpace Practical Book—developed by Devesh Kumar of The Balloon Project. Apart from exploring definitions, these activity workbooks include innovative teaching methodologies and comprehensive exercises for the teachers.
Key findings from the workshop included:
An alarming disconnect between extensive evidence-based research and existing practices in the area of difference learning and in literacy in general;
Urgent need for universal screening for K 2 to not only address the students with learning differences, but also improve literacy of all students;
A vacuum in the support systems, relevant products, and enabling frameworks for parents, teachers, policy makers, and the individual learners
Taking the discussions forward, the necessary next steps that we need to take as a society are:
Developing an enabling legislative or Policy Framework that would recognize that to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals on Education, transformative education systems measures inspired by Difference Learning would need to be applied to all learners;
Building a global community SixthSpace platform of stakeholders for information, support and sharing of best practices
support networks for schools, experts and parents;
Producing resource toolkits and programmes for the extensive capacity building of pre-service and in-service teachers, standards development and certification of screening/testing organizations, and the private sector-led development of reading materials;
Dr. Anantha K Duraiappah, Director UNESO MGIEP remarked “To be the change we wish to see in the world, and to have every human to be functionally literate by the 2030 deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals, we must effectively reach out to every ‘1 in 5’ person who is a different learner and provide them with a dignified, high-quality, relevant, fun set of educational materials that allows them to reach their full potential.
9th-10th April 2016, New Delhi: UNESCO MGIEP is organising a workshop for instructors on difference learning with a focus on the 4 Ds – Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dysgraphia and Dyscalculia. Teachers will be introduced to innovative teaching methodologies that promote inclusive education.
Location: IIT, Delhi
Schedule: 8:30am onwards
At UNESCO MGIEP, we believe that if a minimum of 10 students in a class of 60 learn differently, they deserve to be taught in a fun and interactive manner rather than be subjected to forced correction.
The UN-LEARN Conference is our first step in that direction.
Apart from telling the world about the various Learning Disabilities and its symptoms; we want to enable teachers and instructors with several innovative teaching methodologies and tools that will make their classes “dyslexia friendly” and thus more inclusive.
Description: The workshop will have a total of 12 sessions by more than 20 speakers – experts, educational psychologists and teachers from across the world.
In addition, the workshop will also have the following:
Activity workbooks: MakeSpace – a set of two activity workbooks will be released during the workshop and will be given to each attendee. It will contain a checklist of symptoms of various learning disabilities and will introduce a brand new Dyslexia test specially created for India called DALI. MakeSpace will also contain various innovative teaching methodologies to support instructors to make their classes more inclusive.
involvED Conference: Six (06), 15-minute talks that will move you, force you to think, maybe even make you feel a little uncomfortable and yet give you hope.The involvEd conference will involve you in the process of inclusive education. Did we mention, that it will be hosted by one of India’s most popular (and intelligent) stand-up comedians – Rivaldo!
The Heat show: Our big panel debate on the best practices of inclusive education. In the scorching summer of Delhi, we will further heat it up with direct questions to people who are working in the field of Difference learning (about why their work is not enough?) and to the policy makers (about why we will fail to provide a better education before we start).