“Regional Action on Inclusive Education in North East India”, has been selected as an Innovative Practice of the Zero Project 2020! The award was presented during the conference held from 19th to 21st Feb 2020 at Vienna, Austria.

A brief of the project and the award:
The RAISE North East is a project initiated to complement the programme of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan on inclusive education to improve the quality of education for children with disabilities in government/government supported schools in selected districts of Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, and Tripura. The project is supported by three international agencies CBM, Light for the World and Liliane Fonds (Jan Vikas Samiti in India), all of whom have major presence in the North Eastern States of India.

15 NGO partners have been transformed into centres of expertise to promote access and increase in presence, participation & performance of children with disabilities in 80 government elementary schools on an equal basis with others. Through teacher training, attitude change and ongoing advocacy activities with education authorities a replicable model pathway is being piloted in the North East Region.

Through a partnership between government and NGOs the project creates a win win situation to foster system change integrated in the Indian Education for All program. The “Universal Design for Learning” approach is used that includes ICT. Educators adapt their teaching and classrooms to accommodate different learning needs ensuring that classrooms belong equally to everyone, fostering educational and social inclusion.

The impact till date:
• 617 teacher educators have been trained on inclusive education
• 6950 children incl. 1200 with disabilities receive quality inclusive educ. in 15 NGO schools
• 80 public schools respond to minimum set of requirements for inclusive education which is ongoing
• 55,500 people reached through advocacy & awareness
• Capacities of 15 NGOs as centres of expertise built through becoming inclusive themselves – walking the talk. 310 teachers trained with a special focus on 28 key teachers to lead & replicate the inclusion process
• Official partnerships with government Education department for All program in 5 states has been received to work with 80 government schools
• 103 master trainers of the government & 127 teachers of selected government schools trained & accompanied

The project is being implemented in coordination with the Government Education for All program to showcase how inclusive education can work in the public system. It can be easily replicated since inclusive education has been accepted by the Government as a fundamental right for all children.

Each of the partner NGOs were on their own journey of Inclusive Education, what RAISE has done is to add value to their journey by agreeing to a particular theory of change & use it creatively in their own local context to take forward the journey. The strategy & philosophy is in keeping with the latest trends and grounded in international and national instruments of a rights based approach. The journey is the destination.