Strength Through Diversity

Strength through Diversity - 8th Policy Forum, 18 March 2021


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Equity and inclusion have become increasingly prominent education policy areas as school closures and intermittent school re-openings due to the COVID-19 pandemic have led to significant challenges for most students. This has affected not only students’ academic outcomes but also their well-being.  The challenges encountered by students have been particularly complex for diverse and vulnerable students, such as students with special education needs, students from immigrant backgrounds, ethnic groups and Indigenous peoples, and LGBTQI+ students.

Building on the challenges encountered and the responses taken by education systems, schools and teachers, countries can learn lessons from the pandemic and identify opportunities to promote more equitable and inclusive education systems post COVID-19. The 8th Strength through Diversity Policy Forum will convene diverse stakeholders, from policy-makers to representatives of international organisations and field practitioners to reflect on how policies and practices implemented during the pandemic to support vulnerable student groups can be re-adapted post COVID-19 to foster equity and inclusion of all students. The Forum will also envisage key policy priorities to promote more equitable and inclusive education systems beyond the pandemic.

  • Reflect on the main challenges for equity and inclusion in education brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic across countries, highlighting key issues for vulnerable students during school closures and intermittent school re-openings.
  • Identify key policy areas and priorities to tackle the highlighted challenges and facilitate peer-learning among countries on relevant policy priorities and strategies.
  • Promote discussion among participants about opportunities for future reforms in identified policy areas and envisage forward-looking policies to promote more equitable and inclusive education systems post COVID-19.



Plenary Session: Shaping future equity and inclusion policies in education


Breakout Sessions: Proposing forward-looking policies and envisaging future reforms for more equitable and inclusive education systems

  • Group 1: Reshaping Learning Strategies for Equity and Inclusion
  • Groups 2 and 7: Building Teachers and School Leaders’ Capacity for Equity and Inclusion
  • Group 3: Supporting Student Mental Health and Well-being
  • Group 4: Using Technology to Foster Equity and Inclusion
  • Group 5: Strengthening Parental and Community Engagement for Equity and Inclusion
  • Group 6: Adapting Assessment Methods for Equity and Inclusion



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