International Conference on Educational and Social Inclusion 2011

An International Conference on "Educational and Social Inclusion” was held at the School of Creative Learning, Patna from 25th to 26th November, 2011, organised by the Association for Promotion of Creative Learning (APCL), Patna in partnership with the Kanka Gajendra Foundation (KGF), UK and India and in collaboration with the State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT), Bihar. The seminar made valuable contributions to the ongoing discussion in the country on inclusion.

The Context

In a world of rapid technological, social, political and economic change, education and social inclusion of children with diverse background and ability remains one of the major challenges and of immense significance. Inclusive education is not just about disabled children and young people. It is being gradually realised that such inclusion is a primary condition for bringing equity and social justice in society. In April 2000, the World Education Forum at Dakar, Senegal had resolved that by 2015 all children in difficult circumstances, particularly girls and those belonging to ethnic minorities should have access to complete free and compulsory primary education of good quality. However, inequality and discrimination in education continues to be a major concern. It is against this background that the issues related to inclusive education need to be addressed.

Need and Focus

The conference provided a platform for academician, researchers, teachers, planners, administrators, policy makers and interested members of the society to discuss the issues related to social and educational challenges. It mainly focused on the issues related to training and development for education and social inclusion especially for children and young people.

Themes

Training of and Development for Children and Young People Facing Educational Challenges

Theme 1: Education and Learning Difficulty

  • Learning Difficulty – Conceptual Issues
  • Identifying and Understanding Children and Young People with Complex Learning Difficulties
  • Influence of Media and Societal Attitudes to Learning Difficulty
  • Helping, Supporting and Training Teachers to Meet the Needs of Such Students

Theme 2: Health Education, Equality and Diversity

  • Sexual Health and HIV / AIDS
  • Gender Issues and Health Education
  • Sexual Abuse and Harassment
  • Public Awareness of Mental Health in Young People

Theme 3: Curriculum, Teacher Education, Home-School Partnership

  • Designing Educational Programmes for Inclusive Education
  • Classroom Management and Teaching
  • Connecting Family Through Learning Partnership
  • Assessment, Practice and Evaluating Student Progress

Activities

Mr. Uday Narayan Chaudhary, speaker of Bihar Assembly inaugurated the conference.

Dr Mridula Prakash started the conference by conducting a small session with Sahaj Dhyan (meditaion at ease). She dedicated the session to the last man for whose benefit the conference has been organized.

The Chairperson of the conference Mr Vijoy Prakash welcomed the guests and outlined the basic objectives of the conference. He also highlighted the importance of inclusion in the modern world and called for working towards a really inclusive society.

Prof Gajendra Verma also welcomed the guests and gave details of the sessions.

In his inaugural address Mr. Uday Narayan Chaudhary, speaker of Bihar Assembly said that the ultimate goal of government should be to work for upliftment of the poorest of the society. He called for equal education to all children of the country, ireespective of the fact that he may be from the family of President or a sweeper. 

Dr Mridula Prakash proposed vote of thanks. Dr Ajay Kumar conducted the session.

Technical Sessions

Two key note addresses were made in the first technical session.

Professor Gajendra Verma Professor Emeritus of University of Manchester made a key note presentation on Education and Social Integration: Setting in Context - Insights and Evaluations. Dr. Shamsad Hussain, Ex. Vice Chancellor, Magadh University and Nalanda Open University was in the chair.

Mr Vijoy Prakash, Principal Secretary, Department of Planning and Development, Goverment of Bihar made a presentation on   ‘Broadstreaming through Creative Learning - An Approach towards Educational Inclusion’. Dr. Eugenia A. Panitsidou of the University of Macedonia was in chair.

Then two parallel sessions were organized.

The first session was on Education and Learning Difficulty which was organized in the Ritu Sinha Knowledge Centre for Creative Learning. It was chaired by Prof Janak Pandey, Vice Chancellor, Central University of Bihar.

Dr Basabi Mahapatram, Dr Daisy Banerjee & Dr Nagma Siddiqui of Patna University read a paper onEducation, Learning Difficulty and Exclusion.’

Stella Giossi read a paper coauthored with Panagiotis Giavrimis and Dr Adamantios Papastamatis of the University of Macedonia on ‘Teachers' Professional Development and Students with Disabilities’.

Another session was organized on - Health Education, Equality and Diversity in which Professor Emeritus Christopher Bagley, University of Southampton, United Kingdom was in chair. It was organized in the Kalidas Hall.

A paper onChallenges for Inclusion: Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of Girls and Women in Canada, Britain, India, Nepal and The Philippines’ authored jointly by Professor Emeritus Christopher Bagley, and Dr Padam Simkhada of University of Southampton, United Kingdom was presented.

Dr Addy Lazz-Onyenobi, University of Manchester made a presentation on Raising Public Awareness of  Mental Health in Relation to Young People and Social Inclusion.

After lunch a key note session was organized in which Royston Flude, CMDC-SPOC, Switzerland made a presentation on  Inclusive Learning - The Challenge of Special Needs. Dr. D.M. Diwakar was in chair.

Two parallel sessions were organized – one on in the Conference Hall of Ritu Sinha Knowledge Centre for Creative Learning and another in the Kalidas Hall.

In the Conference Hall of Ritu Sinha Knowledge Centre for Creative Learning, the session was on Education and Learning Difficulty. Dr. Manoj Kumar, Ex Chief Diasbility Commissioner, India was in chair.

Professor Dr Prabhat Ranjan, Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Gandhinagar, India made a presentation on Using Brain-Computer Interface in Inclusive Education.

Dr Manju Kumari and Dr Mona Tabassum, Department of Psychology, RN College, Hajipur, Bihar, India made a presentation on Dyslexia - A Learning Disability - The Indian Context.

In Kalidas Hall a session was organized on Health Education, Equality and Diversity. Prof. MC Reddeppa Reddy was in Chair and Dr. Addy Lazz-Onyenobi was in co-chair.

Mr Abhijeet Nirmal and Ms Aparajita Mishra of Save the Children made a presentation on Corporal Punishment: A Worst Form of Violence Against Children.

Dr Padam Simkhada, in co-authorship of Prof Dr Edwin Van Teijlingen, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom made a presentation on the paper Health Aspects of International Migration: Case Studies of Nepalese Workers in India and the Gulf Countries.

In the evening a cultural programme was organized by the students of School of Creative Learning. 

Mr. P. K. Shahi, Minister, Human Resources Development, Government of Bihar released the Souvenir containing the abstracts of the papers of the conference. He outlined how government has been able to tackle the issue of access to education. Now the issue of retention has to be addressed.

On 26.11.12 the conference started with Pakshi Yog conducted by Dr Mridula Prakash.

There were three keynote sessions in the forenoon. Dr. Ajay Kumar was in chair.

Prof. Carl A. Grant, Department of Afro-American Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, made a presentation on Engaging Educators in Culturally Responsive Pedagogy and School-Home Partnerships

Dr. Devorah Kalekin-Fishman, University of Haifa, Israel made a presentation on ‘Furthering Social Inclusion through Citizenship Education: Cultivating Civic Action in Early Childhood Education

Mrs. Joy Hall, Birmingham City University, United Kingdom, Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA) made a presentation on The Silent Health and Social Care "Emergency"

Then we had two parallel sessions.

The third parallel session was on Education and Learning Difficulty - Curriculum, Teacher   Education and Home-School Partnership. Dr. Nevel Vessel was in chair and  Eleni Griva was Co-Chair.

Dr Suman Sinha, RN College, Hajipur, Bihar, India made a presentation on Learning Difficulty in Language - Remedy through Communicative Skills.

Dr Nevel A Vassel, Birmingham City University, United Kingdom  made a presentation of Challenges for Teachers Delivering Education to Learning Disabled Student Populations Challenges for Teachers Delivering Education to Learning Disabled Student Populations

Dr K Gireesan, Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development, Chennai, India Reaching the Unreached: Traverse of Alternative and Innovative Schools

Eleni Griva and Dora Chostelidou, University of Western Macedonia, Greece made a presentation on Inclusion of Bilingual Immigrant Students in the Language Classroom: Identification of Writing Difficulties and Strategies

Rupashree Jamuar, RN College, Hajipur, Bihar, India made a presentation on Role of Teacher in Classroom Learning, Control and Management

Another parallel session was on Health Education, Equality and Diversity + Quality, Equality and Inclusive Education. Prof. Shailendra Kumar Shrivastava was in Chair.

Dr S Bedi, Department of Botany, BMD College, BRA Bihar University, Bihar and Dr Tanuja Singh, Department of Botany, Patna Women's College, Patna made a presentation on Gender Discrimination: Health and Social Perspective

Mr Amit Chowdhury, Save the Children made a presentation on Understanding Inclusive Education through the Lens of Local Framework

Dr HN Diwaker, Loknayak Jaiprakash Narayan Hospital made a presentation on An Attempt Towards Social And Educational Inclusion Of Children With Cerebral Palsy

Professor Sachindra Narayan, SK Dey Chair Professor, made apresentation on Quality Enhancement in Education

Ms Ioanna Papavassilliou  made a presentation on a paper   Guidance Services for Undergraduate Students - Facilitating Transitions into Education and Employment  coauthored with Alexiou Thaleia Tsourka University of Macedonia, Greece.                

In the afternoon the session started with Key note sessions.

Professor Dr Mohammad Akhtar Siddiqui, Jamia Millia Islamia Central University,
India,  made a keynote address on Challenges for Education and Inclusiveness in India

Dr Eugenia Panitsidou, University of Macedonia, Greece delivered a keynote address on Policies for Lifelong Learning: A "Portal" for Social Inclusion?

Dr. Saloni Prasad made a presentation onStudent Motivation And Classroom Management’.

Dr Ravi Kumar Sinha, Department of English, RN College, Hajipur, Bihar, India, Teaching English as L2 to First-Generation Learners: Need to Contextualize Classroom Management: A Case Study

Mr Vijoy Prakash, Principal Secretary, Planning and Development, Government of Bihar, made a presentation on Educational Inclusion through Folk Paintings: A Case Study of Madhubani Paintings coauthored with Dr Mridula Prakash, Association for Promotion of Creative Learning.

Professor Dr Deepak Kumar, Jawaharlal Nehru University made a presentation on Technical Knowledge and a Knowledge Society

Dr Ranjeeta Kumari made a presentation on ‘Innovative Applications of Natural Resources in Child Education: A Case Study of School of Creative Learning, Nargada, Danapur, Patna’ jointly authored with Dr Kumkum Kumari, JD Women's College, Patna, India

Dr Nirupa Laxmi and Dr Rupa Laxmi read a paper on Dyslexia: Insights on Learning Disabilities coauthored with  Dr Swarupa Laxmi, Galgotias Institute of Management & Technology, Greater Noida, UP, India

Dr P Jagadeesan, Advocate, Chennai, India made a presentation on Human Rights Of The Child And Woman - The Effect Of Socio-Economic Status On Social Inclusion

Professor MC Reddeppa Reddy, Department of Adult and Continuing Education, SVU College of Arts,SV University made a presentation on Designing Educational Programmes for Inclusive Education.

Dr Rupa Lakshmi, RN collge, Hajipur and Dr Ran Bijay Narayan Sinha, Department of Psychology, RN College,Hajipur, Bihar, India made a presentation on In Search of a Culture-Sensitive Method For Exploring Social Reality

Mrs C Vijayalaxmi  made a presentation of her paper on A Study On Creating Awareness And Developing Self-Confidence In The Parents Of Mentally Retarded Children coauthored with Dr VP Matheswaran University of Madras                             

Dr Ranjay Kumar  made a presentation on the paper Designing Activities For Development Of Imagination And Creativity Through Informal  Learning Among School-Going Children authored by  Dr Arvind Kumar Sharma, Dr Ranjay Kumar and Dr Ranjeeta Kumari, Department of Human Resource Development, Government of Bihar, India

In the end there was a plenary session chaired by Ian Stuart. Dr. Devorah Kalekin-Fishman, Dr. Carl A. Grant, Dr. Royston Flude and Mr.Vijoy Prakash were the panelists.

After the panel discussion, a Patna Declaration in the Spirit of Nalanda was declared.

On 27th November, 11 of the delegetes went for a field visit to the historical Nalanda University and Bodhgaya.

Vijoy Prakash, Chairperson

Vijoy Prakash is a senior bureaucrat with the Government of India, and has built a reputation for bringing enormous social and economic metamorphosis among people from excluded communities, through breakthrough work across prestigious positions in various public functions such as human resource development, agriculture, planning, rural development and social welfare.

Widely acclaimed for his researches in the field of creativity and innovation, he is credited to have developed an innovative system of education known as ‘Creative Learning’. He has applied this theory for holistic development of human beings, through the not-for-profit organisation founded by a group of like minded individuals – Association for Promotion of Creative Learning. Especially, this has been effectively used to empower underprivileged by developing their creativity. He has also developed a large number of books and teaching learning materials for the development of concentration, memory, thinking, imagination, visualisation, power of observation and emotional management. He advocates broadstreaming and not mainstreaming as a process of inclusion of underprivileged.

Earlier, as administrator of the tribal regions in Bihar, he was deeply involved in tribal welfare, employing innovative rehabilitation and livelihood generation measures, that were quite effective in the hills of Sahibganj. He also initiated poverty alleviation programmes through the formation of cooperatives such as DAMUL (Daudnagar Milk Union Ltd) and JAMUL (Jahanabad Milk Union Ltd), which was the first all-women union of dairy co-operatives in India. He has also worked for rehabilitation of beggars and street children, with the aim of recognising and developing their skills.

He firmly believes in 'Count Abilities, Not Disabilities'.

Prof Gajendra Verma, Co-Chairperson

Emeritus Professor Gajendra Verma of the University of Manchester. U.K. worked in The Faculty of Education at Manchester for many years. He also held the Sarah Fielden Chair of Education, the senior and most prestigious chair in the Faculty. He was the first Professor of Education from an Asian ethnic minority background to be appointed to such a post in Britain. He was Dean of Research and Director of the Graduate School in the Faculty of Education from 1991 to 1998. On his retirement in 2003, in recognition of his contribution to international research, and for service within the University, he was honoured with the title Emeritus Professor. In 2010 he became one of the few scholars at Manchester University to be awarded the prestigious Medal of Honour for his many contributions to the University, to the country through his service on a Royal Commission, and for his contribution to educational thinking over a period of 30 years.

Professor Verma played an important role in establishing the University’s reputation as a research centre of excellence in the field of equality and social justice. He was a member of the influential Royal Commission in ethnic equality in education, The Swann Committee, which produced the influential report Education for All in 1985. He has been extremely active in research and publication in his field, both nationally and internationally. Over the years he has been the author, co-author  or editor of more than 30 books, and more than 200 papers in scholarly journals. He has been a frequent keynote speaker at international conferences. Besides serving on several public committees, he has held Visiting Professorships at ten Universities in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. During his career he has directed more than twenty national and international research projects, funded by various research bodies including the European Union. His comparative research has focussed on the educational experience and opportunities of disadvantaged children and youth, and he has been tireless in efforts to confront the prejudice and discrimination which hinder the progress of young people within educational institutions, and in society at large. The themes which have consistently informed Gajendra Verma’s work have been those of equality and social justice.

More recently, driven by the philosophy of ‘giving back’, Professor Verma has established the Kanka-Gajendra Foundation in memory of his wife, Dr. Kanka Mallick, his fellow researcher on many of projects. One of the key purposes of the KG Foundation has been the establishment of an endowment fund which supports, in perpetuity, several medical and educational  enterprises. These include research on the understanding and treatment of lymphoma, as well as various educational and sustainable development initiatives in India.

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