Addis Ababa University (AAU) Special Needs Support Centre (SNSC) in collaboration with Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) jointly organized a workshop on Inclusive Education Policy at Sarem International Hotel on June 28, 2021.
Professor Brook Lemma, Sida Projects Coordination Office (SPCO), said AAU has forged 42 years of good cooperation with Sida and will continue to strengthen this bilateral relationship. Sida has been assisting many university graduates, PhD students and various special needs programs, he added.
The agency has been conducting research and documenting a variety of plant species in Ethiopia and Eritrea, which have been identified for medicinal, food and environmental inputs, and many books have been written about, Brook noted.
Yirgashewa Bekele (PhD), Director at AAU-SNSC, in her presentation of the topic said that implementing the policy will not only improve the quality of teaching and learning but also increase the academic achievement of students with special needs.
The provision of higher education has not yet been found to be adequately responsive to the needs of students with special needs, Yirgashewa further said.
Citing UNICEF’s 2009 article about inclusive education, she said, “In order to promote inclusive education in higher education institutions, the existing education system should be comprehensive and equitable.”
According to Yirgashewa, AAU for its part has spent a great deal of time in the execution of the philosophical approach of inclusion to respond to diversity in general and the needs of students with special needs in particular.
Yirgashewa finally said, “Producing graduates with disabilities empowered with technology application and basic life skills that help to ensure independent and productive future life is one of the missions of AAU.”
Wendwossen Endale from Academic Vice President Office, in his closing remarks said that his Office encourages the work of the Center for Special Needs Education and strives for its success.
By: Theodros Shewangizaw
Editor: Abraham Girmay