Panel Discussion Report 62: Promoting Equal Access to Education

1.0 OVERVIEW OF DISCUSSION

For our group, we have chosen Promoting Equal Access to Education through Volunteerism as our topic for this panel discussion presentation. This topic is interesting to be discussed because it is no doubt that education is vital in our life and it is also part of the needs of all humans in this world. Nowadays, many Civil Society Organisations (CSO) are trying their best to include children with disabilities and special needs as this is part of the inclusive education for all. From Anusha (2012), she mentioned that there are some major problems where the disabled kids are facing such as being bullied by friends and not getting equal attention from teachers. She also added that in India, most children with disabilities do not receive any formal education. This does not only happen in India but also happen in most countries in the world nowadays especially underdeveloped countries and developing countries. Therefore, it is the time for us to play vital roles as a community to change this traumatic scenario so that all of them have the equal rights to education. This is because we cannot just depend and rely on the government to make changes because the one who can make a better country is the community itself.

2.0 THE PROCESS

For this panel discussion, our group had already divided each of the tasks as early as two weeks before our panel discussion presentation day. This is to smoothen the process of the panel discussion and at the same time to make our team became more prepared. At the same time, a week before the presentation, we had several discussions on the roles to be played for the panel discussion and each of us had agreed to one role each. And, in order to make this panel discussion became ‘real’, we had done some research and tried our best to ‘feel’ each of the problems faced by the community nowadays in facing the inequality access to education.

Our team consisted of five members- Kamoliddin Fayzullaev, Saed Mahomud Furre, Shahzod Muminov, Qudratillo Usmonov and myself, Mohd Rafiq Mohamad Mazlan. Each of us played our own roles such as Kamoliddin played a role as a member of a Non-Government Organisation (NGO), Saed as a moderator, Shahzod as a local villager from Alor Setar, Kedah, Qudratillo as a representative from the United Nations (UN) and I played a role as a teacher from Sweden. It is good for every team member to play each role because it will help us to understand more on the real situation and at the same time we could express our opinions based on the role that we played.

3.0 THE IMPLEMENTATION

For this panel discussion, I played a role as a teacher from Sweden. Sweden is a well-known country because it is a developed country and is one of the best countries in education system. From Kim Wickman, PhD (2013), a Senior Lecturer from Umea University, Sweden, she said that Sweden is one of the countries which works in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on the education system. For my point, I tried to relate with the education system used in this country and how can it be implemented in other countries and at the same time in bridging the gap between the disabled children and the ordinary children. In other word, it means that how we can make our education system becomes more inclusive rather than exclusive. Therefore I had made some research on this and had some related articles for my point and my role. Frankly, I am satisfied with my role as a teacher and I enjoyed reading the related articles. This is because those articles had given me some new knowledge on the concept of inclusive education and at the same time I was exposed to different types of approaches in handling those special children.

Even though I was happy with my role, there was something which had become an obstacle to me. The one that I meant was a workload. This is because I had to divide and manage my time smartly and wisely because there were many other assignments need to be done and also some other presentations from other subjects. For me, I took this hurdle as a challenge and to be a positive person at all time is essential especially when we were in difficult situation. Thanks to God that I managed to complete my works including this panel discussion on time. I also learnt that procrastination in work is not a smart solution. This is because in the beginning, one of our team members suggested to postpone our panel discussion presentation to another day because of workloads but some of us disagreed. For me, procrastinating our works will not solve the problems instead it will make our work become more. Therefore it is better to do something on time so that we will not have the difficulties in doing our tasks.

4.0 REFLECTION

For the panel discussion presentation, there were many things that I had learnt from it. One of them is the importance of communication skills especially when we want to present a presentation. This is because one of my friends in the group had some difficulties in delivering his points. It is not wrong if we want to bring a note or refer to it during presentation but in order to be a professional presenter, we should not read the note but make the note as a reference to us. This is because maybe sometimes we might forget about our main points so this will help us in having the point that we have during presentation. Besides that, communication skills require us to use proper English. It means that if we have difficulties in speaking English, it will be difficult for us to deliver our presentation well. And that is why the importance of mastering English as an international language nowadays. Another one is lack of self-confidence. In a presentation, self-confidence is very important. This is because if we do not have the confidence within us, we will not be able to do something smoothly and perfectly. Lack of self-confidence relates with lack of practises. That is why in order to overcome this problem, one should practice before the real presentation happened and that is why people say, practice makes perfect.

5.0 CONCLUSION

In conclusion, I am quite satisfied with this panel discussion presentation and I had also learnt many things and got new knowledge from it. One of them is I learnt about the important roles of Civil Society Organisations (CSO) in nurturing and promoting equal access to education within the community itself. And, at the same time panel discussion is a good platform for all of us to get new information on what is happening around us and at the same time we could also share knowledge that we have with people around us.

6.0 REFERENCES

Anusha, B. (2012). Inclusive education for children with special needs. Retrieved from http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-opportunities/inclusive-education-for-children-with-special-needs/article3959638.ece

CBC News in Review. (2006). Fighting Illiteracy: The Swedish Way http://newsinreview.cbclearning.ca/wp-content/uploads/2006/06/illiteracy.pdf

Fatmira M. (2003). Right to Education. Retrieved from http://www.hrea.org/index.php?base_id=144

FindtheData. (2013). What is the literacy rate in Sweden, a country in the continent of Europe? http://country-facts.findthedata.org/q/178/2395/What-is-the-literacy-rate-in-Sweden-a-country-in-the-continent-of-Europe

Literacy Watch Bulletin. (2000). Role of NGO’s in Education Development. Retrieved from http://www.accu.or.jp/litdbase/literacy/nrc_nfe/eng_bul/BUL15.pdf

New Straits Times. (2012). Country’s literacy rate above 93 per cent. http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/country-s-literacy-rate-above-93-per-cent-1.93593

Wickman, K. (2013). Disabled Children, Inclusion, and Physical Education in Sweden. Retrieved from http://nndr.no/disabled-children-inclusion-and-physical-education-in-sweden/

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