From schools to systems - the evolution of Inclusive education in Armenia

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Presentation made by the Armenian Ministry of Education and Science at the 1st UNICEF Executive Board meeting 2013 in New York (6 February 2013)

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From schools to systems - the evolution of Inclusive education in Armenia

  1. 1. FROM SCHOOLS TO SYSTEMSTHE EVOLUTION OF INCLUSIVE EDUCATION INARMENIA Ministry of Education and Science New York, February 6, 2013
  2. 2. 1991-2000 2000-2013- Medical Model of Disability -Nearly 100 inclusive- Practically no understanding schools with over 2500 about inclusive education children with special education needs (SEN)- Special schools were the -A reduced number of primary option for children special schools from 40 to with disabilities (CwD) 23 -Increased understanding about social model of disability -Mobilization of the civil society and common acceptance of the principles of inclusive education.
  3. 3. FROM IDEA TO GRASSROOTS Introduction of Model Schools Capacity Grassroots and the concept of Building of pilots in Community Inclusive National selected Centers Education by Organizations schools UNICEF
  4. 4. FROM GRASSROOTS TO POLICY National Discussion and Creation of Creation of Development of a Amendments Policy Dialogue Introduction of to the Law on Budget Line for Special Unified Curriculum Inclusive Education Introduction of Inclusive Education Development of Education marking aLaw on Education education shift towards Needs Inclusive Teaching Courses in of Children with (addition per making all Assessment Modules for Pedagogical Special capita funds for schools Procedure Teacher Training UniversitiesEducation Needs SEN children) inclusive in 2005
  5. 5. POLICY SCALE-UP: TAVUSHREGION PILOT• Instead of a limited number of schools eligible for additional financings for SEN students, designated inclusive education funding was allocated to all schools in the region to hire teacher’s assistants or special education teachers.• The lessons learned experience will be used in replicating the model in other regions.
  6. 6. LESSONS LEARNED• Advocating for inclusive education at the grassroots level with community involvement is very important in the change process. Showcasing model schools and the success stories are important strategies for gaining the strong support and fostering ownership of policymakers and key stakeholders.• However, in the long run, the process of reforming one school at a time is slow and ineffective, and should be replaced by system reforms.• Inclusive education is a key component of social inclusion of persons with special needs, which implies a shift in the attitude of the whole society, and involves health and social protection services. Only through inter-sectoral cooperation can the State ensure the support to the most vulnerable groups.
  7. 7. THE DISADVANTAGE OFSPECIAL SCHOOLS• Special schools allow for specialized programmes, specialists, special methodologies and small-sized classes• However, Special schools reinforce stereotypes, spur stigmatization, offer limited possibilities and hinder the social inclusion of children with disabilities.• Children’s right to grow up in the family is often undermined.
  8. 8. REDEFINITION OF ROLES FORSPECIAL SCHOOLSTRANSFORMATION OF SPECIAL SCHOOLS IS AN ESSENTIALSTEP IN BUILDING AN INCLUSIVE EDUCATION SYSTEMScientific-Pedagogic Centers/ Resource Teams • Development of specialized services for children • Development of didactic materials and methodologies • Trainings for special teachers • Mainstream teacher training, mentoring and guidance • Provision of special education services in mainstream schools • Special education needs assessment • Support to families
  9. 9. CONSTRAINTS TO DE-INSTITUTIONALIZATIONFinancing mechanism • Sector – to –sector budget transfers • National level to community budget transfers • Definition of funding mechanism for services provisionInsufficiently developed social services • Case management practice in incipient stage • Lack of alternative care optionsWeak cooperation frameworks • Decentralizing services that used to be provided in one place requires strong coordination
  10. 10. RESISTANCE TODEINSTITUTIONALIZATIONSpecial schools and institutions • Professional resistance and vested interests • Fear of loss of financing (per capita) • Fear of loss of jobsMainstream Schools • Lack of teacher capacity and resources • Discriminatory attitudes from teachers and parents and community in generalFamilies • Difficulty to raise their children in the families • Fear of discrimination and social pressure
  11. 11. TRANSFORMATIONPLANTransformation plans for special schools• Planning and creation of alternative services• Reallocation of financial, human and capital resources from special schools to new services, and mobilization of new resources as necessary• Reprofiling of staff• Individual reunification plans for children, with a thorough assessment of available resources and the involvement of social protection services, in the best interest of children Failure to plan is planning to fail!!!
  12. 12. CHALLENGES• Discrimination against children with disabilities• Inconsistency in legislation.• Weak coordination between education, health and social protection services in providing comprehensive response to the different needs of the child.• Lack of community based services for children with disabilities.• Low accessibility of school infrastructure and other services• Teachers are not sensitized and trained.• Lack of special education professionals, especially in rural areas• Special education needs assessment process is in disconnect from disability assessment, and is not in line with the WHO International Classification of Functioning – Children and Youth (ICF-CY).• Insufficient budget allocations to cover the transition costs of special school transformation and provision of all necessary services.
  13. 13. ADDRESSING CHALLENGES:FUTURE STEPS Adopting one common law on education Out-of-School Children Tracking and Referral Mechanism Revision of Special Education Needs Assessment Procedure (ICF-CY) Transformation of special schools to resource teams to support inclusive education
  14. 14. A SOCIETY INCLUDING CHILDRENWITH DISABILITIES IS A BETTER SOCIETY FOR ALL

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