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ANNUAL REPORT 2012 - Dyslexia International

ANNUAL REPORT 2012 - Dyslexia International

Letter from the Chair In

Letter from the Chair In 2012 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced his ‘Education First’ policy at UNESCO, urging all NGOs working in education to make a major drive, ‘Un Grand Effort’, to reach the Millennium Development Goals by 2015: quality education for all. Dyslexia International fully endorses this policy and addresses it by ensuring that Open Education Resources for teacher training in literacy and inclusion are accessible to teachers worldwide. In February, following a meeting at UNESCO on ‘Relations with Member States, Intergovernmental and Non-governmental Partners’, Dyslexia International was honoured to be granted ‘consultative status’ in its partnership with UNESCO. From September through to December we took an active part in meetings to determine new criteria for these relations. Much of our energy throughout the year went into re-positioning ourselves as we followed up the conclusions of our forward planning activities, finalized in early 2012. We looked at how best to maximize the benefits of new emerging technological solutions that allowed us to meet our primary objective: to make enhanced teacher training widely available as a means of attaining free and fair education for all and equal opportunities for students with specific learning difficulties whose needs are still not being met. ‘Policies that effectively address teacher training and retention should be at the core of national education policies. ‘Children have a fundamental right to free primary schooling of good quality. Governments have pledged to uphold this right. I am deeply concerned that education is slipping down the international priority list. Education First stems from my resolve to answer the call of parents everywhere for the schooling their children deserve - from the earliest years to adulthood. We must place education at the heart of our social, political and development agendas. ‘When we put education first, we can end wasted potential and look forward to stronger and better societies for all.’ Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations The high point of 2012 was the launch of our new Beta site offering, for the first time, scientificallybased, high quality online teacher training materials on how to identify and address dyslexia free of charge. All visitors to www.dyslexia-international. org were able to access our Open Courseware and Open Educational Resources at an ’e-Campus’ for teachers and trainers, a ‘Meeting Place’ for 6/18 Dyslexia International Annual Report 2012

Letter from the Chair education authorities and a ‘Country by Country Contacts Directory’ for guidance to local ministries, universities and associations in over 190 countries. Following the Congress we warmly welcomed experts in OER Neil Butcher and Professor Ken Harley who accepted to join our Open Educational Resources Advisory Panel, and Professor Diane Laurillard of London University, a member of the Management Committee of the UNESCO Institute for Information Technology in Education. Their guidance has been invaluable. Our plans are to ensure that our new OER site is regularly updated and replenished systematically by our consultants and research assistants with the support of our associate universities. To formalize this system we are working towards setting up a consortium of universities, one in each of the official languages of UNESCO – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. This would become fully operational in 2014 by which time we will have submitted a formal application to the ‘UNESCO UNITWIN’ programme for a four-year research programme, chaired by a lead university in online teacher training, literacy and inclusion. The research, involvement at all levels and outcomes will be recorded on the e-Campus. 32m ‘Some 32 million U.S. adults lack basic prose literacy skills. That means they can’t read a newspaper or the instruction on a bottle of pills.’ – U.S. Education Department, January 2009 20 % ‘One fifth of school-leavers are so illiterate and innumerate that they struggle to cope with challenges of everyday life.’ – U.K. The Guardian, 7 May 2010 The way forward We now greatly look forward to working with the Coursera team of Stanford University, USA, who have agreed to collaborate with us on a new version of the online course. The challenge is to make this available as part of Stanford’s Professional Development program for teachers in May 2013, either through our own team or with a Coursera partner university. 7/18 Dyslexia International Annual Report 2012

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