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Delivering inclusion for life: vocational training, meaningful employment and lifelong education for people with learning differences. A UK-Malaysia partnership event.

February 28th 2024 Kuala Lumpur

This event, introduced by Mr Tom Shepherd, Acting Deputy British High Commissioner to Malaysia, and Dhruv Patel, CEO & Founder Nisai Group, brought together the very best of practice in both the UK and Malaysia with the aim of creating innovative partnerships that will bring about a step change in the lifelong education and employment opportunities for people with learning differences. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Nisai Group and Oasis Place Malaysia on the day was an example of such a partnership!

Over 160 attendees joined the seminar, including education leaders, experts and educators from the UK and Malaysia.

It was clear that everyone present were passionate about educational inclusion and equity – all were focused on the need to meet Goal 4 of the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals; to ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong opportunities for all’. And there was a consensus that the event was taking place against a background of accelerating change that is impacting all learners across the globe especially due to rapid advances in technology, globalization and changing demands on the workforce.

The keynote speech for the event was given by Dr. Hanani Harun Rasit, representing the Malaysia Ministry of Education, who provided an overview of the current state of play and future development of inclusion practice in Southeast Asia and specifically Malaysia. Catherine Wilczek from UNESCO Bangkok brought the perspective of UNESCO on equity and Inclusion and Dr SK Choy, CEO of Oasis Place, engaged everyone in thinking about ensuring an inclusive, equitable, future for people with disabilities in Malaysia.

The second section of the event was firmly grounded in delivering learning and there were discussions around best practice in innovating in inclusive education for young people with SEND. The first of these was from Trystan Williams the Deputy CEO of Venturers Trust, and founder of Extreme Classroom. Coming from the Malaysian perspective on the same issue was Anne Subashini Sivanathan, the Chief Executive Officer at The Inclusive Outdoor Classroom in Malaysia. Both considered how an equitable, adventurous,  approach to education provides both improved social and educational outcomes, and the basis for a life of learning and growing within the community.

For educationalists working with learning differences an area of increasing concern is the transition from education into the workplace – especially given the rapidly changing nature of work itself and advances in technology. The final section of the event explored how to create equitable opportunities for learners after leaving school with Kalaichelvi Ponnambalam, Executive Director of CQ-TEC TVET College in Kuala Lumpur, discussed what great practice in Technical and Vocational Educational and Training (TVET) looks like now and into the future. Our final speaker Prof. Dr. Yong Zulina Zubairi inspired everyone with her talk on the creation of inclusive pathways in Higher Education!

MOU signing between Nisai Learning and Oasis Place.

The event illustrated just how many organisations and educationalists are engaged in the vitally important work of creating education systems that promote true inclusion and equity for learners. But it also illustrated just how important it is to keep networking and innovating to take advantage of the changing economic and technical environment for all our learners.

You can also rewatch the event on our YouTube channel:


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