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Indonesia's Yogyakarta Unesco model in inclusive education
Publication Date : 07-03-2013
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (Unesco) Indonesia Representative has chosen Yogyakarta as a model for the development of inclusive education, which in the future could also be applied in other cities in Indonesia and abroad.
“We would like to have a strong partnership with the city administration to support education for people living with disabilities,” head of the social and human sciences unit at Unesco Jakarta’s office, Charaf Ahmimed told reporters in Yogyakarta on Wednesday.
Ahmimed was in the city with assistant program specialist Daniel Ruiz De Garibay, also of Unesco’s Jakarta office, to meet Yogyakarta Mayor Haryadi Suyuti and his staff to discuss the planned cooperation on inclusive education, or education that is friendly to people with special needs.
According to Ahmimed, Yogyakarta was chosen as a model because its political elite was considered to have the commitment to provide public services to people with disabilities.
The city, he said, also had official policies on the matter and was home to many non-governmental organisations working on these particular issues and many universities that had data and conducted research on the same issues.
“By coming here, Unesco acknowledges that Yogyakarta is doing much better [on inclusive education] than many other cities in Indonesia. But there are some challenges here, we are also happy to overcome these challenges,” Ahmimed said.
He added that Unesco would start the program in April 2013 and it would be the first program on inclusive education to be jointly conducted in cooperation with a city administration in the country.
Through the program, Unesco will learn the city policies that provide support to people with disabilities, offer capacity building to all stakeholders in the issue and examine research already conducted by universities in Yogyakarta.
Mayor Haryadi Suyuti said that his administration had the vision of quality and inclusive education with a character. Through the cooperation, Unesco is expected to further develop this inclusive aspect.
Head of the municipal administration’s division of economy, city income development and cooperation, Danang Subagjono, expressed hope that the cooperation would develop as it would involve all the stakeholders including the administration, and teachers in the region dealing with people with disabilities.
“Yogyakarta already has the model for handling people with disabilities. This is what will be further developed by Unesco,” Danang said.
Director of the Women, Disabled People and Child Advocacy Center (Sapda) Yogyakarta, Nurul Saadah Andriani, cautiously welcomed the cooperation, noting that the municipality had a regulation obliging every school in the region to be inclusive.
Nurul said that not all the teachers in the city had the ability to deal with special needs students, that some schools were forced to bring in teachers from schools for the disabled when they had students with disabilities.
“The facilities are also not yet adequate for students with special needs. Improvements are needed both in the classrooms and teaching methods,” Nurul said.