I found the workshop extremely useful and interesting, particularly for areas like northern Laos.
What a privilege and honor to participate this great workshop. I have learned what inclusive education really is, how important it is, what the benefits are and what the obstacles are to inclusion. Inclusive education is about providing quality education equally to all. It means all children are welcomed to learn and participate in schools. No matter that they have the disability, speak a minority language or come from socio-economic, disadvantaged families, they all have the right to study and develop themselves. Inclusive education will benefit all children, teachers, parents, and the wider community. For children, they will gain confidence in themselves, they will enjoy school activities, play together, and developing friendships and social skills. Most importantly, they will learn to value themselves. For the teacher, he/she will get chances to learn new strategies for teaching and know how to teach students with special needs. Furthermore, the teacher will be supported and praised by the community, and yes, he/she will be satisfied when seeing every child succeeds. For parents, they will be very happy to see their children receive education like other children. They will contribute and play an important role in their child’s learning and they will know how to deal with their child’s problems by using techniques that the teacher uses in school. They will get opportunities to work with the school and community, and above all, they will know their children have received a quality education. For the community, the problems of crime and drug misuse should decrease when everybody in the community receives an education. It is hoped members of the community will contribute to the school, and relationships between schools and communities will improve. As we now know, inclusion benefits everyone. It is about bringing children with and without disabilities to the same classes; this might be hard work, challenging and take time, so to make it a reality, teachers, parents and all community members must work together. It takes the whole community!! One of the most valuable things I have learned from this workshop is to make teaching materials by using free and low-cost materials, such as stone, sand, bamboo, wood, chopsticks, plants, seeds, bottle caps, old containers, and old tires, etc. Instead of throwing them away, we can use them in our teaching. If we do this, it will decrease rubbish in our community and help our environment.
What I have learned from this workshop will be very useful. As a teacher in the future, this will guide me along the way. It will help me to know how to get engaged with students and parents, how to design classrooms, how to teach students with special needs, and how to make teaching aids by using free and low-cost materials. Most importantly, it will remind me that all children can learn, just not at the same speed and time.
I, as a teacher in the future, will do my utmost to support this work. I will welcome all children, whether they are disabled, ethnic minorities, or come from socio-economic, disadvantaged families. They all will be included in my class. I will be an inclusive education role-model. I will be a representative who promotes and implements inclusion in my school and community in the future. I will work with their parents, school and the community to develop and design classrooms, programs, activities and schools which disabled can assess so that all students can learn together.
At the end of this report, I just want to say thank you to Let’s Include All and its members for holding this wonderful workshop and special thanks to teacher Vikate Phannalath, the founder of Let’s Include All Project, who has worked hard and applied for grants to make this great workshop possible. Without his patience, this work might not have happened. I am really grateful to him. Once again I would like to thank all participants who have shared their own experiences and knowledge. I have learned a lot from them.