By Sister Grace Mkosamali
Sister Grace Mkosamali, an advocate for inclusive and equitable education, presented a paper on education in East Africa during an annual gathering of researchers, students and stakeholders in education and policy.
The Comparative and International Education Society Conference (CIES) took place virtually from 2nd April to May 2nd 2021 and was attended by RELI members. Sr. Grace presented a paper on equitable education in East Africa. With a background in psychology and counseling, Sister Grace is the current coordinator of Archibishop Mihayo University College of Tabora. She is passionate about equitable education opportunities especially for disadvantaged communities
CIES was important to her as it helped her explore the research programme that is underway by RELI’s Regional Cluster of Equity and Inclusion – it seeks to refine the clear implementation of inclusive policies on education in East Africa.
Sister Grace felt grateful for the opportunity to share learnings from within and without RELI. Finding best practices across clusters and sharing learnings while creating synergies to analyse implementation of policies for inclusive education in East Africa should be an agenda for RELI to take up.
Enthused by the need for inclusivity in the education sector, her work has involved working on projects for special needs children, particularly deaf children. She especially empathises with students and teachers with disability challenges and attending the CIES conference to her was a contribution to these communities.
Sister Grace’s work at Tabora has enabled her to expand her worldview on issues relating to equity and inclusion. “In RELI I am closely working with the Equity and Inclusion Cluster where I interact with other stakeholders who share my passion in this area as there is a lot to learn from members.”
In her many years of experience working and interacting with people with disabilities, especially students and teachers, she identifies with them and seeks to engage in activities that will contribute to their empowerment as she seeks for their inclusion and respect for their dignity.
Sister Grace hopes to organise virtual sessions and share with RELI members on her learnings from attending the conference. She notes the importance of members’ networking sessions which should be properly co-ordinated to strengthen partnerships. The East African community is a critical resource in these discussions and there’s need for RELI to seek out its support and expand its influence.
CIES 21 encouraged renewed attention to social responsibility and the ethical practice of education and policy development to ensure a community of practice that is motivated in its community’s education.
“I really hope to come back next year and to see how the research we presented has impacted the policy landscape in East Africa ” said Sister Grace “It has been an eye-opening experience”.
Follow this link to dive into all the RELI CIES presentations.
(Featured image: Sister Grace Mkosamali before the CIES conference.)