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Home » ACCA News and Update » ACCA-SUGPAT Team Attends Int’l Conference on Inclusive Education

ACCA-SUGPAT Team Attends Int’l Conference on Inclusive Education

“There really is a need to create more programs for our out-of-school-youth,” said Department of Education secretary Leonor Magtolis-Briones in a close encounter with ACCA-SUGPAT Project Director Kiko Miranda. 

Sec. Briones was only one of many dignitaries that the ACCA-SUGPAT team met when they attended the 15th SEAMEO Innotech International Conference from March 5-8 at Quezon City, Manila. 

With the theme, “Thriving in the Margins: Inclusive Education Reimagined,” the conference brought together more than 200 educators and storytellers from 16 countries all over the globe to converge and bring to the fore the conversation on inclusive education. 

“Now, we know that it is not enough to just ‘go’ to the margins where needs are greater, but really, ‘thriving’ in the margins,” Rogin Eribal program officer and education specialist of ACCA-SUGPAT continued, “because it is only through these efforts where we could craft our interventions to become truly apt and effective in their situation.”

The conference used the Open Space Technology invented by Harrison Owen where participants created their own agenda of the learning conversation topics answering the big question: “How do we grow a learning community that welcomes everyone?”

Almost 100 ‘learning sessions’ were set during the conference, including, “Developing a curriculum design for an alternative school for out-of-school-youth or adolescents,” “Education by elimination or education by inclusion,” and “Inclusive education using the digital platform,” among many others. 

During the conference, ‘storytellers’ also took to the microphone their success stories on inclusive education to inspire conference attendees. 

Among them was Shilpa Raj, an India born in the social underclass, who “deviated from the norms and went under a transformative education and modern upbringing” through Shanti Bhavan. Raj is now a published author and advocate for quality education for the poor.

Jesus Insilada, who is one of the top 10 finalists of philanthropist Bill Gate’s Global Teacher Prize 2018, also shared his story on being a teacher and a ‘dweller’ in the mountains of the Panay Region, integrating the Panay Bukidnon culture in his teaching methodologies. 

The ACCA-SUGPAT team was in attendance to gauge and reflect on the best practices in inclusive quality education and how these can be applied in the individual context of ACCA’s flagship program, the SUGPAT Adolescent Development and Participation program. 

“The conference allowed us to engage with like-minded individuals from all over Asia,” Miranda said, “It inspired innovation, creativity, and participation as we continue to develop and improve the SUGPAT program. It was also a great avenue for us to bring the work of SUGPAT to an international audience.”

Val Amiel Vestil / Ateneo Center for Culture and Arts