Policy of Uzbekistan in the field of education

Author: Shomahmudova Riskinisso – One of the founders of inclusive education implementation in Uzbekistan. In 1968, she graduated from Moscow State Pedagogical Institute on specialty “defectology”, qualification “Teacher – speech therapist preschool, school and medical facilities.” 1991. Moscow Pedagogical University – awarded the academic degree “candidate of pedagogical sciences.” In 1996, she was awarded the title “Professor of the Tashkent State Pedagogical University named after Nizami”. The winner of the Order “Dustlik” (2001), badge “Excellence in Public Education” and several diplomas of the MOPE, Ministry of Higher Education.

Under her leadership, developed a number of normative documents and the concept of “continuous inclusive education”, as well as the position, guidelines and manuals on inclusive education. Shomahmudova Riskiniso is the author of 12 books, more than 70 scientific and methodical works, more than 30 guidelines and manuals, programs and monographs on education of children with special needs. In 2011, published a book entitled “Special and Inclusive Education” (foreign and domestic experience)

The rights of children are subject of care on the state and society level as a whole. New consciousness, obligations and new legislation have opened new prospects in providing children with special needs with educational services.

Legislative basement of documents connected with education sphere consists of:

  1. The Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
  2. The law ” About education “
  3. The law ” About the National Program on a Professional Training “
  4. The law “About social security of invalids in the Republic of Uzbekistan”

Since the first days of independence the government of Uzbekistan pays a great attention to reforming the sphere of education. The government considers this area as a key link to updating society, implementing democratic transformations in a society, providing steady development of economy, integration of the country to the global) society.

The strategic policy of Uzbekistan coincides with Frameworks of actions of Salaman Declaration (1994) and the “Education For All” Declaration accepted in December 2000. Now education of children and youth with the limited capabilities is approaching the world standards in Uzbekistan. Our strategy implies an involving to a network of national and international organizations, development of new views to special education, creation a modern infrastructure, development of cooperation between government and non-government organizations.

In order to achieve these goals the National program on a professional training is accepted and is being realized very successfully. This program is directed to cover full scope of graduates of 9 classes with system of professional training, getting by pupils a concrete profession, alongside with the general secondary education. “The National program on a professional training today is the uniform educational complex that covers all processes of continuous education of young generation. Each part of the system has its special place and responsibility. And implementation of the whole program depends on condition, level of development and mutual links between these parts”, (from the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan on The State National Program of development of school education for 2004-2009).

Realization of the National program on a professional training caused necessity of transition to the new level is modernization of special education with the consideration of continuity of educational process according with democratic values, national culture and traditions of our people. Especially, it is actual now, at the time of change, when government and whole the society is changing its attitude to the invalid children and to their rights. The year 2004 is proclaimed by the President Islam Karimov as a “Year of kindness and mercy» because mercy has always been one of the brightest characters of Uzbek people. The program with the same name “Year of Kindness and mercy” was developed by the Cabinet of Ministers. It becomes more valuable considering that it’s direct continuation of the previous programs – “Year of mahalla “, “Year of family “, ” Year of healthy generation ” etc.

In accordance with the Program the network of new type of professional educational institutions has been created. 533 professional colleges and 54 academic lyceums equipped with the modern educational lab ware have been built. Uzbekistan has created its own national industry of construction and equipment of colleges and lyceums. New educational standards and educational programs have been developed. Now we are developing new requirements for state standard of correctional education for children with special needs.

 SPECIAL EDUCATION

 Children with special needs in Uzbekistan are trained in special establishments, correctional schools and at home – it is segrigational way of training. Today at 85 schools and boarding schools in Uzbekistan study nearly 25000 children with special needs.

  • 10 boarding schools for blind children, 1668 pupils are trained there
  • 2 boarding schools for visually impaired children – 495 pupils
  • 13 boarding schools for deaf children – 3066 pupils
  • 5 schools of boarding schools for children with hearing problems- 1160 pupils
  • 22 schools for mentally retarded children – 5591 pupils
  • 30 boarding schools for mentally retarded children – 6541 pupils
  • 1 school – boarding school for children with children’s paralysis – 245 pupils
  • 1 boarding school for children with heavy infringements of speech – 342 pupils
  • 1 boarding school for children with a delay of mental development -200 pupils
  • 1 boarding school for children with problems of behavior – 130 pupils

According to our researches approximately 60 % of teenagers with special needs receive secondary education outside the school – they are trained at home or at a mass school. Here the specificity of correctional education – work on individual programs developed in accordance with intellectual and physical opportunities of these children are not taken into consideration. The level of education received in this way does not correspond the state standards and does not allow to continue further education or to find work after school.

INCLUSIVE EDUCATION

 Recently the term “inclusive education ” is becoming widespread. But at the same time it which should be distinguished from “the integrated education “. The following kinds of integration are distributed in Uzbekistan:

  • Temporary (episodic) integration implies association of children with deviations in development and without them not less than 2 times a month for realization of various educational actions, or a premise of atypical children to a class of mass school for certain period of time with the diagnostic purpose.
  • Partial (fragmentary) integration takes place in cases, when children with mental development problems attend separate lessons at a mass school when content of lesson is accessible and meets their capabilities.
  • Combined integration implies that a child with deviations in development remains in a group of usual children during the whole day and except it attends correctional – developing lessons of defectology.
  • Full integration means a premise of a child with the limited capabilities in a typical class of mass school before the end of training period. This kind of integration mostly suitable for children who have the weak, erased forms of deviations development (for example, children with infringement of speech, children with the smoothed forms cerebral paralysis).
  • inclusive schools.
  • The basic strategy – providing education for all children
  • Admit variety of pupils and meet their requirements
  • Conformed to a various intellectual and physical level of pupils
  • Give the appropriate curriculums -Use the suitable pedagogical methods
  • Have certain school policy and the personnel.

Inclusive education implies change of system, adaptation of training environment to requirements of a child. The basic restriction of the integrated education is that school remains “staunch”, and that is why only certain groups of children with special needs can be integrated there.

The world forum on education held in Dakar, Senegal on April 26-28, 2000, to be short, Dakar frameworks of actions that have determined the directions of activity to full realization of the right to high-quality base education not later than by 2015. And this forum gave a push to development of the National plan of action “Education for all”. Adoption of the document was one of the reasons of organizing the National forum on “Education for all” on May 31, 2002. The delegates from the ministries and other departments engaged in social protection and education of children with special needs participated in the forum.

The Ministry of public education alongside with UNESCO carried out training seminar on development of short-term, intermediate and long-term plans for prospect. Specially invited expert from Singapore took part in the training. In 2003 The Ministry of public education approved the National plan of action on “Education for all “. This document has a special chapter named “Special education” that includes measures on improving education system for children with special needs. The general study of children is paid a great attention in the chapter. The Ministry of national education and its departments cooperates with a number of the international organizations on realization of the National plan and strategy of development of inclusive educations in Uzbekistan.

The Ministry of public education, Department of special education of educational center with assistance of UNESCO, the resource center of inclusive education held a series of training seminars for workers of sphere of education, heads of regional education departments, teachers of the mass and specialized schools, methodologists of improvement of professional skill and also for representatives of public organizations which are engaged in the sphere of education of children with special needs. Development of idea inclusive education in Uzbekistan started in 1996. Since then 7 seminars, 6 trainings, 1 international conference on organization of equality in education were held in Uzbekistan. These meeting can be considered as a result of international cooperation of Uzbekistan with foreign countries, and the resolutions of regional and international seminars which have been held aegis of UNESCO. The purpose of these seminars is to provide equal access to education, realization of the National plan of action on “Education for all “. At the sessions of the meetings participants got the information about the idea and strategy of development of inclusive education, international experience and domestic experience of inclusion of children with special needs to general educational process in our republic.

Today there are 152 groups of children with features in development in structure of mass preschool establishments.

  • The specialized kindergartens – 62
  • The integrated training in structure of a regular class of mass school
  • At home training (4878 children by along republic).

1 specialized college N9 for invalid children on professional training that is located in Tashkent

  • 10 groups in mass colleges
  • 15 specialized classes at mass schools. 4 classes for children with paralysis in Khiva city.
  • 11 branches classes in Tashkent for children with intellectual – mental infringement.

 COOPERATION WITH NGO’s AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Outside the school training and development is organized by the non-governmental organizations, associations on the bases of clubs of Societies of deaf persons, blind, invalids, children’s creativity, children’s campuses, and city clubs through the projects of the non-state, noncommercial organizations.

The republican center of education cooperates with more than 40 NGO’s and coordinates processes of interaction. Now the regular propagation of ideas of inclusive education among the people of the country, pedagogical collectives, parents, local authorities is being conducted with the support of NGO’s and the international organizations such as UNESCO, UNISEF, ” Mercy project”, “Operation Mercy “,” Rescue children “, ” Smiles to children ” and others.

For example, coordinator and executive of Kokand located project “Care about children with physical inability with the help of mahalla and development of inclusive education ” Matluba Umurzakova, the director of public centre “ZIYO”, teachers with more than 30 years’ experience Rakhima Yulchieva. Ziyoda Normatova made a huge work on inclusion more than 122 children with special needs in general secondary schools of Kokand city The project was financed by “Rescue children” international organization.

This project joint with PEAKS has shown that parents of children with special needs in some regions of republic (Fergana, Namangan, Andizhan. Khorezm) also understand importance of inclusive educations for their children.

For example, mother of one child says; ”I am very grateful to experts, NGO’s, to collective of school which have not refused and have included 25 children with special needs. When the teacher accepted our children she confessed that her own daughter also was an invalid. For some reasons she concealed illness of her daughter, however having seen changes occurring with our children she decided to give her daughter to school. Children have accepted the child. The condition of the girl improved day by day, she danced and adapted to children’s collective”. From the words of teacher:” Parents, do not hide illness of your child, if you give your child to school it will be better both for the child and for you “.

In order to distribution of ideas inclusive education we have achieved the following:

Establishing advisory rooms and clubs for parents

  • Providing with the methodical materials, training programs
  • Paying attention to strengthening cooperation on special and educational support of children with the limited capabilities in various ways.
  • Creation of psychological support services on work with invalid children
  • The organization of permanent information service through press
  • Creation more flexible programs of general schools or modification of existing programs with the purpose of inclusion of children with special needs.
  • Organization of joint leisure with healthy children and developing cooperation with foreign colleagues in this direction.

For example, in 1999 and 2000 Department of special education and the International charity organization “Operations Mercy” organized a joint leisure of children with special needs in one of the campuses of Tashkent area – Aktash zone. Volunteers from 11 foreign countries – Germany, Scotland, England, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Jamaica, USA, India, Malaysia, Sweden, Norway, and teachers from regions of our country took part in this project. They exchanged experience with teachers of republic and carried out various actions for the organization of leisure of healthy children and children with special needs – musical and sports competitions named “Together to see, together to build the house “, Love and fidelity etc. The final slogan was “They are like all of us “.

PROBLEMS

 

Realizing actions of the National action plan  “Education for all” purpose of which is providing an access to education for all children, especially to children with special needs and taking into consideration social and economic capability of the republic we must say that only with joint efforts we can solve a number of problems connected with inclusion of children in to inclusive school.

Today due to existing problems most educational institutions are not accessible for children with special needs. The main problems of this area are that:

  • parents of children with special needs have no or have very limited information about rights of the child to education;
  • Problem of access to education is closely connected to availability of establishments of education and with accessibility of public transport.
  • The majority of teacher’s heads of mass schools and high schools do not have a good understanding of questions connected with physical inability Only those children who can move independently and who do not have a strong form of physical inability can study at a mass schools.
  • Despite the rules of law available in the legislation that allow the children with special needs to be trained at a mass school and that give privileges at entering to high school they still do not accept the idea of inclusive education. During the meeting of governing board of the Ministry of national education of republic of Uzbekistan was underscored that “providing education and employment is necessary condition for life of any person “. That is why all of us, workers of sphere of education should make efforts for providing each child with adequate education and not to allow him to “remain in the street” after the graduation of 9 or 11 classes of the general educational and specialized school.
  • Strengthening attention to school was designated as one of the key in the Order of the President “About measures on preparation of the Program of development of school education for 2004-2009 years” from February, 27, 2004. Having read and discussed the contents of the program we have made a plan of measures of realization of the Program in an education system of children with special needs. During the realization of the given document it is very important to pay attention to:
  • Reconstruction of schools and preschool establishments to create suitable conditions there for training children with special needs. Provide appropriate infrastructure for access of a child with special needs. In 1996 The Uzbek society of invalids and the state committee on architecture and construction has commissioned document named “Building norms and rules” according to which schools and preschool establishments must be equipped with constructed ramps, elevating mechanisms, pedestrians, and other mechanisms for children with special needs. These are crucial questions. At the present stage alongside with comprehensive schools special establishments need the specialized engineering tools, special computers, audiometers for inspection of the hearing, the reading equipment, printing machines on Braille. Geographical maps, globes, relief didactic materials, models are inaccessible for today. The printing house is necessary for this purpose.

OUR PROSPECT

 

  • Today our activity consists of the following:
  • it is important to add a special chapter about inclusive education to the Law ” About education”;
  • Legislatively confirm and explain mechanisms of movement of financial assets to support inclusive education.
  • expanding the budget or to grant a financial support to schools introducing inclusive education (to include a defectologist to a staff)
  • to encourage cooperation between teachers of the specialized schools and teachers of general schools
  • to prepare and provide with a special teaching and material pupils of inclusive classes
  • to encourage interactive methods of training
  • to provide with appropriate infrastructure schools and preschool establishment
  • To create the republican center carrying out scientific and methodical maintenance of system of special and inclusive educations, practical introduction of ideas of inclusive educations.
  • I hope that the given conference will influence to the development of multi-sectorial cooperation in the field of education of children who need our help.