All children should study together! Attending school jointly does not only provide both mutual enrichment of children and toleration skills, but also helps children with special abilities to develop their skills faster and adapt to the society. However, inclusion of special children in the educational process requires a number of conditions:
- Trained and motivated school staff, tutors, and a possibility to engage specialists (defectologists, surdopedagogists, typhlopedagogists)
- Creation of a barrier-free environment and supportive technical infrastructure
- Individual educational itineraries and flexibility of the assessment system
- Correctional support
- Active actions towards creating atmosphere of tolerance and inclusion at school
The Foundation is planning to initiate a support system of inclusive education in secondary schools through our network of correctional service centers of educational and psychological support. These centers, already opened by the Foundation almost in every region of the country, will become a stronghold for supporting the efforts of inclusion of children with special needs into the secondary educational process at schools. First steps are already taken in a pilot project in Astana and Almaty. This is a continuation of a number of events aimed at supporting inclusive education.
|Methodology||A methodological manual on inclusive education organization at schools is published by the Foundation with an involvement of the country’s leading educational experts. On the basis of this manual there were training seminars sharing experience and discussing of practical questions of inclusive education with teachers and school principals of Astana and other regions. The manual is translated to Kazakh language and is available on our website for anyone interested.|
|Legislation||In 2014, we presented our proposal on the improvement of the Concept of inclusive education in Kazakhstan to the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan with an emphasis on flexible study plans, effective system of accompanying children with disabilities in inclusive classes, large-scale retraining of teachers. The majority of Foundation’s suggestions were accepted and included in the Concept text.|
|Infrastructure||Foundation has also bought and installed FM-systems for the support of the educational process of deaf children and children with hearing disabilities at the school-gymnasium #65 in Astana. Systems were installed in two inclusive and two correctional classes of 20 pupils. Similar FM-systems were also presented to the #116 school in Almaty for the support of the inclusion process of children with cochlear implants in two classes. Furthermore, both schools have received methodological sets of literature and textbooks for children with hearing disabilities.|
|Resource center||A pilot Resource Center of inclusive education opened at school #68 in Astana for the support of inclusive educational process at four schools (#68, #19, #41, and #59). Also, the Resource Center was opened in Almaty on the basis of school No. 174 and is planned to be opened in two schools in Aktobe. Resource center is a modern space made up of four zones – parents’ consultation zone, child’s relaxation zone, teachers and specialists’ team work zone, and individual classes zone. Thus, a friendly atmosphere and favorable conditions for any pupil’s development are created at school. Resource center will provide methodological recommendations for schools, training for teachers, and creation of individual educational itineraries for children.|
Foundation is also a participant of the Working group under Ministry of Education of RK dealing with questions of inclusive and special education, as well as a member of a number of social expert councils. We regularly engage in practical support of inclusive education via creation of technical conditions at pilot inclusive schools for children with special needs.
A large portion of attention is dedicated to informational education of the society, including parents and teachers’ sectors. We regularly distribute information about inclusive education, principles of inclusion of children using mass media, social networks and informational event. Foundation has produced a series of video clips on rights of children with disabilities for education and inclusion in the society.
Video about work of the pilot Resource center in Astana is available here.