During his keynote address at the 30th anniversary of the Salamanca Statement on Inclusive Education held at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France on Tuesday 13th March, Chief Minister Dr David Moinina Sengeh said that inclusive education will ensure that quality education is not for the haves and haves not, while adding that technology should not be seen an opportunity and a tool to widen the gap but as a means to bring us together.

Speaking about Radical Inclusion, the widely acclaimed Dr Sengeh, who is the author of one of the bestselling books on transformative education titled ‘Radical Inclusion’, noted that when you create a solution for radical inclusion, everybody benefits, stating that Radicial inclusion is about bringing the best set of resources for everybody.

Sierra Leone’s Chief Minister emphasised his country’s resolve to ensure every girl and every learner have equal access to quality education. He also stated that in Sierra Leone, parent learners and pregnant girls, who were excluded from schools are now returning to school; he added that because of the policy change, the country now has more girls in school as compared to other countries in the West African sub-region.

Commenting on the international community’s role in supporting Radical Inclusion, the former Co-Chair of the UNESCO High-Level Steering Committee on Education, said the world cannot speak about Artificial Intelligence (AI), and how it can shape a country without talking about education; neither they cannot talk about peace and security without education, nor can they talk about climate and green solution without fundamental literacy and numeracy critical thinking.

“The biggest mistake leaders can make is to think that discussion on education is a privilege. President Bio’s Big 5 Game Changers prioritised education, and human capacity development remains a core and fundamental priority for us,” he said.

Digitalisation, he said, can lead to inequality, citing that kids that have access to computers and internet can access quality learning as opposed to their peers who do not have. *“If we invest in connectivity, AI and digital learning, it is one of biggest tool to bridge in equality,” Sierra Leone’s CM added.

Dr Sengeh also revealed that in Sierra Leone, the Result Checker has helped parents significantly to take a decision on girl child education. This system, he stated, is free, simple 2G solution, which was not done only for those with money but for everyone and everybody used it. *“This is an example of how technology can help solve a problem.”

Ms Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO in her opening remarks mentioned they are celebrating the Salamanca statement which means education for all men and women. She reiterated that education should be the norm rather than the exception that radical inclusion is a transformative and bold concept of learning.

Copyright –Published in Expo Times News on Friday, March 15th , 2024 (ExpoTimes News – Expo Media Group (