How I joined the EENET family

22/04/2014

Back in 2010 I was working with World Vision Armenia as an Education Expert and was managing two big projects on supporting inclusive education in Armenia. The first project was receiving funds through World Vision UK and DFID. It aimed to improve inclusive teaching practices in schools, strengthening the teachers’ capacity to adapt the curricula to the needs of children with special educational needs. The second project was funded through USAID, and focused on strengthening the capacity of disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to promote public understanding of disability and acceptance of inclusive education.

According to the logframe of my first project we needed to invite an international consultant to evaluate our efforts and provide recommendations on improvements and following steps. I am so thankful to WVUK for recommending Ingrid Lewis from EENET! Ten days we spent travelling throughout the project sites. Conducting meetings and round table discussions at schools, having lesson observations and informal communications with students helped me to understand the context well, my partners’ perception and understanding of both the project’s goals and inclusive education concept. It revealed our strengths and weaknesses alike and helped me view inclusive education from a totally different angle: it is not education for children with special educational needs, it is enabled education for ALL students, so that every child can gain from the hours spent at school in proportion to his/her abilities and capacities.

This consultancy supported me to recognize good teachers in our communities and develop role models for others through the first video manual for teachers in Armenia. It also helped me learn about and understand the Index for Inclusion and discover the global EENET community!

 

Children Armenia poster Teachers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a poster featuring the opinions of children in inclusive schools in Armenia

Two years later I was honored to enter the EENET family as a ‘Client Representative Director’ – a volunteering job, which gave me an opportunity to know in person other team members and experienced experts in the inclusive education field who are all very open and dedicated people ready to share their knowledge easily.

My role is to view EENET’s activities from the clients’ point of view (this is primarily about the consultancy clients, but I’m also interested to see EENET’s activities from the perspective of general network users). My role is to provide suggestions about what types of ‘services’ and resources the clients/users may request; in what format the information should be presented, etc.

I’ve always felt that EENET’s website provides wide access to resources on inclusive education practices; it is very supportive for teachers, offering different articles and methodologies for managing inclusive classes. It is accessible for different users (I find the on-line translator helps non-English speakers understand the core messages in all articles). I believe that this new blogging opportunity will increase EENET’s communication with a wider range of clients/users/partners.

I would love to read your views and suggestions about what you would like to see and or obtain through EENET’s website. You can leave comments here, or email me via consultancy@eenet.org.uk

Hasmik Ghukasyan

EENET’s Client Representative Director

 


Sharing experiences – with EENET’s help

07/04/2014

2newsletters for blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“So do you fancy being part of the editing team?”

This was the question I was asked when I joined the EENET team as a volunteer in 2011. I had no idea, in a good way, what I was letting myself in for. Two-and-a-half years later, as Network Coordinator, I am thoroughly enjoying the email conversations I get to have with network members, the letters and cards that arrive in the post, and of course co-editing the articles submitted for the website and the Enabling Education Review.

There are many levels and stakeholders involved in ensuring that educational experiences are inclusive. Stakeholders range from practitioners, such as teachers and community workers on the ground, to those involved in developing policies for education and teacher training. We aim to reflect all of this in the articles we publish in the Review and on the EENET website.

In order to publish as many of your articles as possible in the Review we need to keep them short. However, as I know from experience, writing a 550 or 1100 word article can be really difficult! How do you keep to the word limit while ensuring that all the important elements are included? That’s why editing articles is something that we provide help with.

We are looking forward to reading all of the submissions again this year and discovering the range of issues you are working on. The theme for this year’s Review is Inclusive Education – Beyond Schools. To find out more, read the Call for Articles. If you are not sure whether your work fits within the theme, or you are not sure what to include in your article, email me (info@eenet.org.uk) and we can discuss it.

If you need a reason why it is important to submit articles about your inclusive education work to EENET, read on.

We know from the number of hits on our website, and the emails I receive, that lots of people gain from the inclusive education ideas we share. For example, I recently received a lovely email detailing how useful EENET’s publication, Researching our Experience (based on action research in Zambia), has been for people facilitating workshops and teacher education sessions in India. Although the cultures and contexts are very different, many of the ideas cross over and the activities described in Zambia can be adapted for use elsewhere.

Sharing experiences and examples of promising practice is an important step in improving the quality of education for marginalised groups and in helping to support teachers, head teachers, community leaders, parents, etc, to develop their own knowledge and practice.

So, why not put pen to paper and have a go at sharing your experiences!

 

Su Corcoran

Network Coordinator