Inclusion Initiative, also known as IAMYOU was formed to spearhead a campaign for inclusion in the Philippines.
IAMYOU envisions communities where:
- children are afforded their equal rights and opportunities to quality education regardless of his/her socioeconomic status, gender, ethnicity, religion, ability, or sexual orientation;
- differences are celebrated and supported;
- children with disabilities are educated alongside his/her peers in the classroom and;
- children are taught in a learner-centered, safe and friendly environment.
to work with all stakeholders to co-create solutions for inclusive education.
IAMYOU aims to accomplish this by:
- establishing a community of practice where teachers are provided multiple forms of teaching support – from seminars/workshops to peer mentoring – and an avenue for shared learning and problem solving;
- building capacity for shared leadership in schools where principals actively work hand in hand with teachers in instituting a school improvement plan focused on every students’ success;
- supporting change advocates to push effective policies where disabled peoples organizations (DPOs) and other marginalized groups take the lead through forums, peer networks and consultative dialogues;
- increasing investments in inclusive education by working with policy makers in developing policies to secure the resources needed to effect real change on the ground and;
- supporting champions with the political will and commitment to inclusive education.
This illustrates the overall thrust, strategies, programming, and expected outcomes for engaging multi-stakeholders with the primary goal of increasing enrollment within marginalized sectors and nurturing students to achieve their personal best.
The Inclusion Campaign hopes to implement its programs under shared ownership with UNICEF, the local government units, legislators, Department of Education (DepEd)/Commission on Higher Education (CHED), school administrators/principals, teachers and the representatives from the marginalized sectors. Central to the inclusion campaign work is a collaborative partnership working towards a common goal.
There is a need to define inclusive education to the various stakeholders. In areas serving persons with disabilities especially those with intellectual challenges, inclusive education presents itself as a disruptive innovation. The traditional special education model popularly known as SPED is still being espoused and for lack of information, legislators are filling bills pushing for SPED and mayors across the country are supporting the establishment of SPED centers. For other marginalized sectors such as the indigenous people, Muslims, LGBTs and girls, there is a need to spread awareness of how they are being excluded and prevented from having a better future.
By working in conjunction with school districts, state policymakers and educators from across the country to increase the effectiveness of teachers and school leaders at all levels, the inclusion campaign aims to push for municipal ordinances allocating funding for IE programs and a comprehensive inclusive education act that enables the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to enact policies effectively intergrating inclusive education in the Philippine Educational System.
IAMYOU strongly believes that both the school administrators and its teachers should work in partnership to create an inclusive environment for its students. Through a two-tiered ‘train the trainers’ leadership program – one for principals/supervisors and another for teachers along with a continuous mentoring component per district, IAMYOU hopes to produce a cascade effect with trainers being tapped to conduct training sessions in the next district.
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