nepc konferencija

The 5th PRIMARY COLORS OF EDUCATION is traditional NEPC annual conference that collects narratives about education from the Network and wider.

The challenges education systems faced during the pandemic demand education stakeholders to accelerate the discussion on the future of education and the role education systems should have in the time of crisis.

The two days conference has twofold aim: to reflect on approaches applied during the crisis and to propose possible directions for the education in the future.

The first day of conference, Wednesday, 1st of December, is dedicated to inclusion as an eternal topic in education whose interpretation, implementation and monitoring is  ongoing in many countries of NEPC region (and wider). The pandemic shows that inclusive systems are more resilient in time of crisis and can provide adequate support to all learners. The keynote opening speech by Lana Jurko, NEPC executive director, will open the conference presenting to which extent inclusion is embedded as fundamental principle in education system and why governments cannot postpone the comprehensive integration of inclusion principals in all aspects related to education. The two panel discussions planned afterwards will show several very diverse NEPC members initiatives and international projects that contribute to empowering education systems to provide equal opportunities to all leaners.

In the last decade, NEPC has been committed to building transnational and multistakeholder partnerships to support national voices and bring regional issues to the international arena. These partnerships are often a platform for sharing experiences and knowledge that may enrich the national debates about education. The first panel of the second day of conference (Tuesday, 7th of December) will discuss the role of three different yet complementary policy networks and how they contribute to participation in the policy process.

The discussion about the need to re-think the role of education has been ongoing for a while but more intensively since the pandemic. This might be considered as a sign for an alarm and the need for the urgent changes in education. The meaningful changes of the education system require the discussion about the philosophy beyond the education system. The last panel of the conference opens a window on the future through two earth-centric philosophiesecological justice and degrowth.



1.12.2021 I 10:00 am CET

Opening and welcome

1.12.2021 I 10:10 – 10:30 am CET

Lana Jurko, Network of Education Policy Centers

Keynote: Inclusion as a moral imperative of education

Inclusion must be recognized as a principle on which the educational policies worldwide are based on. Inclusive systems guarantee quality education to all learners, nurture diversity among students and educational staff, have inclusion principals embedded in the curriculum and in the teaching methods. The keynote will reflect on the status of inclusion in NEPC region almost 30 years after the Salamanca Statement and why its implementation cannot be postponed anymore.

1.12.2021 I 10:30 – 11:30 am CET

Jane Ester, PRAXIS I Estonia

Batjargal Batkhuyag, Mongolian Education Alliance I Mongolia

Jasminka Marković, Centre for Education Policy I Serbia

Moderator: Raffaella d’Apolito

Emergency funds: Different responses to crisis

In 2020-2021 NEPC supported 6 members initiatives as a part of the Emergency fund to respond to the effects of pandemic on education system. (Initiatives were financed by the OSF grant). In this panel we will present three of them, as very different approaches yet equally relevant for the education system, reflecting on how the system can be prepared for future challenges not neglecting students’ rights, wellbeing and voice. The comparative study conducted by Centre for Education Policy (CEP) provides reliable data on the schools’ experiences related to change of the school work and implementation of distance/online teaching due to the Covid19 situation and to share findings, conclusions and recommendations with decision makers, while PRAXIS proposes a solution within the current early warning system to specifically empower students from low socio-economic background at risk for drop-out and strengthen the design of sustainable public-private partnerships. Mongolian Education Alliance (MEA) initiative bring us back to school policies and the establishment of “Student journalism” club to empower students’ voice.

1.12.2021 I 12:30 – 13:30 am CET

Sanja Brajković, Open Academy Step by Step I Croatia

Višnja Pavlović, Forum for Freedom in Education I Croatia

Petrit Tahiri, Kosova Education Center I Kosovo

Moderator: Iva Perković

Tackling inequality and fostering inclusion: Is participation the key?

Can the issue of inequality be tackled by fostering inclusion and empowering the participation process in schools? Inclusion and participation can be understood as two dimensions of public engagement where inclusion continuously creates a community involved in defining and addressing public issues while participation emphasizes public input on the content of programs and policies[1]. Moreover, child participation is a fundamental right recognized in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and 1 of the 4 guiding principles according to which children have the right to express themselves and to be heard.

In this session the issue of tackling the inequality in education will be discussed while focusing on the inclusion and participation as the potential tools for tackling inequality and achieving equity in education. NEPC is leading and participating in several projects that address the issue of inequality in education by focusing on inclusion and participation from different levels:

ARISE – Action for Reducing Inequalities in Education, led by Kosova Education Center is a platform created by a pool of NEPC members NGOs and research institutes from Western Balkans and Turkey (IPA countries) that will support schools, grassroots organisations and policy makers in developing actions and policies aimed at mitigating the effect of low SES on students’ achievement, reducing inequalities in education.

HEAD: Empowering School Principals for Inclusive School Culture, led by NEPC is focused on inclusive education, exploiting best practices from Slovenia and the Netherlands and piloting five modules of professional development in 60 schools, building their capacities in establishing inclusive school culture creating inclusive school policies and practices through participatory decision-making.

Start The Change – Intercultural Education and Active Citizenship Actions to Prevent Radicalization, led by Forum for Freedom in Education is creating a generation of change makers through intercultural education and volunteering with the aim of preventing and combating radicalization and extremism among young people. Aside from the immediate work with schools, this project wants to reach out to the policy stakeholders to transmit student messages and ideas that will stand out as crucial throughout the implementation of this project.

7.12.2021 I 10:30-11:30 am CET

Mialy Dermish, SIRIUS Policy Network on Migrant Education

Lana Jurko, Network of Education Policy Centers

Eszter Salamon, European Education Policy Network  

Moderator: Ulviyya Mikailova

Education Policy Networks – Who needs them and why?    

In the past twenty years numerous informal and formal education policy networks were set up with the idea that synergising findings, exploring different policy options, forming common recommendations and common advocacy actions will move education policies forward. The three networks:  SIRIUS – Policy Network on Migrant Education, European Education Policy Network and Network of Education Policy Center that will be presented in the session have different histories, scopes, policy goals, types of activities, membership profiles yet share some goals and some members. The presentation of their experiences hopes to provide a place for rethinking the roles of networks.  The panel will unpack the roles of policy networks in international and national policy development and discuss their roles in supporting and preserving the participative policy process.

7.12.2021 I 12:30 – 13:30 am CET

Mladen Domazet, Institute for Political Ecology I Croatia

Burcu Meltem Arık Akyüz, Education Reform Initiative I Turkey

Moderator: Andrea Soldo

How can education contribute to harmonious life on the damaged planet?

Education has a crucial role in the urgent green transition demanded by the current environmental crisis. The necessary radical changes to be systemic must refer to a philosophical framework. This panel will discuss ecological justice and degrowth as earth centric philosophies built on a critique to economic growth and their possible applications in education.

7.12.2021 I 13:30



Platform: GoToMeeting

Questions and Information:

[1]   Quick, Kathryn S., and Martha S. Feldman. “Distinguishing Participation and Inclusion.” Journal of Planning Education and Research 31, no. 3 (September 2011): 272–90.