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Inclusive education is not only about having housing facilities…

 

According to the data of the study of the UN Children’s Fund conducted in 2012, 70% of children with disabilities in Armenia attend general public schools. This was told by Maya Simonyan/ Education department senior assistant, disability program expert.

 

She noted that to date, 139 schools in Armenia are inclusive, and according to the order N 232 of April 7th of this year of RA Ministry of education and science, the list of inclusive schools will be supplemented with 30 more such schools. In addition, the Ministry of Education and science has set a goal, that by 2022 all secondary schools functioning in RA should open their doors to children with disabilities.

 

Strategic goals are certainly commendable, but is it possible to consider implementation of inclusive education in Armenia to be sufficient, what is its effectiveness today?

 

In response to our questions, Maya Simonys agreed with criticism, which is often heard, that inclusive education is not only about having housing facilities and we cannot consider school to be inclusive only due to wheelchair ramp. According to her, of course housing facilities are important for children with disabilities in terms of making the environment accessible. However, the concept of inclusive education is much broader than just building facilities.

 

The main reason that children do not attend school is that they cannot study. For example, in regions, 51% of the parents of children not attending school are of this opinion, in Yerevan 36%.

 

Regarding the type of disability, in case of mentally disabled and deaf children attendance figure is significantly lower, respectively 48% and 56%, while in case of physical disability, their involvement in public school is 90%.

 

Let’s note that according to the study of the UN Children’s Fund “It is about inclusion”, conducted in 2012, there are 8000 officially registered children with disabilities in Armenia, which make up 1% of the child population. Given the international expected figure of child disability – 2, 5%, experts point out that there are probably 12000 children with disabilities, whose disability is not certified for various reasons.

 

You can find the whole research here.

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