Education for diversity and inclusion
World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development falls on 21 May. To mark the Day, an Alliance of Civilizations/UNESCO campaign urges everyone to “Do One Thing” for diversity and inclusion. In addition, the International Festival for Cultural Diversity will take place at UNESCO and around the world from 16-21 May.
A milestone was reached on 10 May with the 100th ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Article 24 of the Convention explicitly recognizes the right to education. But in addition to disability – which affects 10 per cent of the global population – many other factors still combine to deprive children and adults of their right to an inclusive quality education.
“Being female, poor and living in a country affected by conflict are three of the most pervasive risk factors for children being out of school,” states the 2011 Global Monitoring Report.
Speaking a minority language, belonging to an indigenous people, or living a nomadic or rural lifestyle are other factors of exclusion for entire groups - adults and children alike.
For UNESCO inclusion and diversity in education are a human rights issue. The Organization promotes inclusive quality education by reviewing and monitoring education policies, training education officials to promote inclusive education policies and disseminating good practices. UNESCO’s 9,000 Associated Schools promote diversity through exchanges, twinning partnerships and common intercultural projects between schools and countries.