FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has received an international award for the development and implementation of Policy 322, which entrenches inclusion as an official component of the province’s education system.

Presented in Vienna, Austria, as part of the Zero Project 2016, the award recognizes New Brunswick’s ongoing commitment to inclusive education and the implementation of the new provincial policy in 2013.

“We were selected for this international award from among 200 nominations from 76 different countries,” Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Serge Rousselle said. “It is an example of how a small province can accomplish great things, including supporting diversity and respect in education. The efforts of so many New Brunswickers can now serve as a model for other public school systems around the world.”

Inclusive education was first introduced in New Brunswick nearly 30 years ago. Since that time, the provincial government has worked to facilitate the full participation of all students, whatever their abilities or needs, in positive learning environments in all schools.

Two years ago, a comprehensive review of the province’s efforts led to the establishment of Policy 322.  The basis of the policy is that every student is capable of learning. It is also designed to support teachers, parents and guardians in the learning process.

The policy works to remove barriers to learning and ensures the full participation of all students, while setting out requirements, standards and guidelines for the delivery of inclusive education, including procedures for the development of personalized learning plans for students as needed from kindergarten to high school graduation.

The Zero Project Conference 2016 is convened by the Essl Foundation, the World Future Council and the European Foundation Centre at the United Nations (UN) in Vienna. The award selection panel is made up of researchers and experts in the field of inclusive education from around the world.

Each year, the Zero Project conducts research related to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.