On the afternoon of 12 July 2022, the Opening Ceremony of the 2022 Upskilling Training for Teachers and Principals of ASEAN Special Schools was successfully held. Mr. Djauhari Oratmangun, Ambassador of Indonesia to China, Ms. Wang Hongliu, Director of the General Affairs and Coordination Division of the ASEAN-China Centre (ACC), Dr. H. Yaswardi, Director-General of Teachers and Educational Personnel of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology of Indonesia, Mr. Chindavong Xaiyasin, Education and Culture Counsellor of the Embassy of Lao PDR in China, Dr. Sokhiatulo Laoli, Special Advisor to the Association of District Governments of Indonesia (APKASI), Dr. Siswantoyo M. Kes., Vice Rector of Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta of Indonesia, Mr. Wang Ping, Director-General of the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, Dr. Zhang Minxuan, Director of the UNESCO Teacher Education Centre (UNESCO TEC) and Mr. Jiang Mingjun, Vice President of Shanghai Normal University, attended and addressed the opening ceremony online.
Mr. Djauhari Oratmangun highly appreciated the strong support of ACC and UNESCO TEC for the training, and expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the experts, scholars and trainees for their active participation. He indicated that the Indonesian Embassy in China is willing to further unleash cooperation potential and promote the vigorous development of special education in Indonesia by improving the level of management and teaching research of educators of special schools, thus continuously facilitating educational exchanges between Indonesia and China.
Mr. Wang Ping pointed out that special education is a significant symbol of educational development, social equality and civilisation progress, which is also highly valued and vigorously developed in China and ASEAN Member States (AMS). In recent years, Shanghai has made great efforts to develop special education from aspects of improving the special education system, deepening the integration of medical treatment and education, strengthening the curriculum reform and enhancing the guarantee mechanism. Shanghai will take this opportunity to exchange with AMS the experience in special education reform, further promote the equality and inclusiveness and universal benefit of education, and accelerate the educational development of Shanghai.
Ms. Wang Hongliu stated that special education is an important part of the educational cause that provides basic guarantee for social development. This training aims to build up a platform for sharing experience, improving the management level and teaching methodology, and enhancing friendship. Meanwhile, it can also help special children learn to be more self-esteemed, self-confident and self-reliant, so that they might be able to have as many chances as other children to enjoy a wonderful life. ACC is ready to work together with all partners to jointly promote the continuous progress in building the ASEAN-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in all aspects.
Mr. Chindavong Xaiyasin wished that the participants would actively learn strategies and experience of China special education and improve their professional competence. All trainees could learn from each other and apply what they have learnt to the development of special education in their own country, so as to carry forward the ASEAN-China special education exchanges and collaboration.
Dr. Zhang Minxuan noted that special educators provide the most crucial support in the development of special education and the growth of special children. The year 2022 marks the 110th anniversary of special education development in Shanghai that has accumulated rich experience in this field. UNESCO TEC will make every effort to concentrate resources and make contribution to special education exchanges and cooperation between AMS and China.
This 4-day training is co-hosted by ACC and UNESCO TEC, with nearly 1,000 educators of special schools from Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR and Thailand. The training covers the experience and characteristics of special education development in Shanghai, curriculum, teaching and teaching staff building, as well as case studies. The opening ceremony received wide attention, with media representatives attending the event from People’s Daily, China Education Daily and Shanghai Daily.