Experts share international stage with Burmese leader

University of Wolverhampton inclusive education experts shared the stage of a major international event with State Counsellor of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi.

The prominent Burmese politician, diplomat, author and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize was the guest of honour at the 1st National Conference for Children with Intellectual Disability in Myanmar; organised by the Myanmar Special Education Association (MSEA).

Following her keynote speech, the University of Wolverhampton’s Dr Anne Hollinshead also took part in the opening ceremony of the conference in Naypyitaw and spoke about the four year journey of collaboration that led up to the conference.

Dr Hollinshead, from the Faculty of Education, Health & Well-being said the University of Wolverhampton had been a catalyst in the recent inauguration of MSEA.  

She added: “It was an honour to take part in this prestigious event, which received the public support of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi; the Vice President; the Minister for education and Minister of Social welfare; and several other key ministers.

“The conference was to discuss inclusive education and the University of Wolverhampton’s role since 2012 in collaborating with Burmese educators to develop teacher expertise in the country.”

Other delegates and contributors included 15 ambassadors, representatives of many organisations of disabled people, disability activists; children with special needs and their families and practitioners from schools across Myanmar, and sponsors of the conference.

As well as participating in the conference, Anne and her colleagues also met with key policy makers at the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Social Welfare and delivered training to special education practitioners.

The University of Wolverhampton was commissioned by the UK charity, With Love All Things Are Possible, to create a bespoke, classroom based teacher training programme for children with special educational needs in Myanmar, Burma.

The charity focuses on improving the education and lives of poor children living in developing countries with emphasis on those with a physical or mental disability.

Aung San Suu Kyi led the National League for Democracy (NLD) to a majority win in Myanmar's first openly contested election in 25 years in November 2015.

The win came five years to the day since she was released from 15 years of house arrest.

Although the Myanmar constitution forbids her from becoming president because she has children who are foreign nationals, Ms Suu Kyi is widely seen as de facto leader.

Further information

Pic 1: State Counsellor of Myanmar,Aung San Suu Kyi at the 1st National Conference for Children with intellectual disability.

Pic 2: Joanne Winwood, Dr Stephanie Brewster, Dr Tunde Rozsahegyi and Dr Anne Hollinshead from the University of Wolverhampton.

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

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