CENTER FOR EDUCATION INITIATIVES
NGO Center for Education Initiatives (CEI) has been founded with the goal to promote changes in the community’s perception about the role of education in creating human, righteous society and to promote the development of the further education in Latvia without reference to people’s nationality, race, social status, religion and sex, as well as the physical and mental level of development.
◊ implements projects related to education, development of civic society and society integration
◊ organizes seminars, workshops, conferences for educators, parents, municipalities authorities and NGOs and other stakeholders in all regions of Latvia
◊ implements teacher in-service training programs
◊ carries out research in education and integration
◊ provides access to resources (books, magazines, videos) available at the center
◊ publishes teaching methodology books for teachers, parents and children’s books
CEI staff has more than 17 – year- experience in developing and realizing educational programs, courses and seminars and 14 year- experience in the area of Roma integration – development and implementation of projects, programs, seminars, research, etc. CEI has been working in the area of Roma inclusion already since 2003 and has realized several European Funds projects as well as participated in the output and realization of the National plan “Roma in Latvia”. While working in this program CEI has developed a solid cooperation with the Roma NGO organization and Roma society leaders. CEI realizes its projects throughout Latvia and it has a successful cooperation with the local governments, responsible ministerial and local Roma`s NGO. CEI participated in the development of the Guidelines of the National Identity, Civil Society and integration Policy for years 2012-2018.
CEI is one of the leading organizations in Latvia working with the issues of inclusive education, and has 10 years’ experience in implementing the inclusive education projects. The CEI’ strength and uniqueness is teacher training to prepare them to work in inclusive child centered classrooms, as well as the development of social partnership for inclusion in local communities’ level – schools, parents, local authorities, social workers and local NGOs. Since the CEI provides training and implements projects in all regions of Latvia, it has built partnerships with local and regional governments, as well as wide network of schools (mainstream and special), which is a good basis to continue cooperation. CEI has a solid base of successful cooperation with Ministry of Education and Science, Sate Education Centre, Soros Foundation –Latvia, members of Parliament, many national and international experts, different NGOs, etc. For promotion of the exchange of inclusive education practice, CEI organizes national and international conferences. As most significant example was conference Embracing Inclusive Education Approaches for Children and Youth with Special Education Needs, Riga, 2010. Practitioners, experts and politicians from 64 countries participated in this conference. Also, CEI implements advocacy of the target group through the work on the development of the policy documents at national level – organization is involved in the working group led by the Ministry of Welfare on development of the Guidelines for the Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for years 2013-2019.
CEI activity is associated with the realization of various educational projects in the field of child-centered education. It is based on philosophy and principles of the international program “Step-by-step” that all children have an equal right to quality education. CEI has been registered in the Ministry of Education and Science as an educational institution CEI is a member organization of International Step by Step Association (ISSA). CEI: a) develop and realize projects which promote quality education and accessibility of education to all children and encourage the development of tolerant society, integration of minorities and the social risk groups; b) organize seminars and other activities for pedagogues, parents, municipality and NGO (especially those of minorities) workers all over Latvia; c) provides professional consultations and expertise in the field of child- centered education.
CEI develops tools to raise children and young people’s awareness of civil society and development cooperation. CEI also is active in strengthening civil society and development cooperation by developing and engaging the various national networks and by the follow-up of the decision –making in public administration.
CEI conducts researches in the fields of its activities. CEI cooperates with the experts of various fields and levels in the frameworks of the researches to analyze and assess the real situation and barriers that hinder policy making and implementation of high-quality and rights based education.