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Opinions & Interviews

9 Oct 2017

Work to create inclusive education system in progress in Belarus

Work to create inclusive education system in progress in Belarus

MINSK, 9 October (BelTA) – Work is in progress in Belarus to create an entire inclusive education system. The statement was made by Rector of the Belarusian State Pedagogical University Alexander Zhuk as representatives of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) visited the university’s Inclusive Education Institute on 9 October, BelTA has learned.

According to Alexander Zhuk, the creation of inclusive education — allowing children with special needs to study alongside average children — is a global trend. The latest revision of the Education Code will enable inclusive education for children with special needs. “We are starting to work to create an entire system of inclusive education,” said the official. “We are training specialists for the primary and secondary education stages. We are improving qualifications of specialists all over the country. Apart from that, we offer programs to foreign partners and, certainly, we bolster the scientific component, this is why the Inclusive Education Institute has been created as part of the Belarusian State Pedagogical University. The institute is carrying out a number of research projects for the Education Ministry. It also implements international projects,” said the rector.

Director of the Inclusive Education Institute Vera Khitryuk noted that inclusive education development had been slow due to the lack of the relevant legislation. The latest revision of the Education Code has fixed the problem. “Nothing will slow us down now as far as legislation is concerned,” said the director.

In her words, the working meeting of representatives of the regional office of European and Central Asia countries has not been organized in Minsk this year by accident. “We have proved that teacher training is the key component of inclusive education. Our country is the most advanced one as far as the training of special education teachers is concerned as well as the training of pre-school teachers, primary education teachers, and subject teachers. Within one year of the institute’s foundation we have given reasons to say that Belarus is the country that can be used as a model in organizing inclusive education,” said Vera Khitryuk.

A delegation of UNICEF representatives visited the Inclusive Education Institute in Belarus. The delegation included UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia Afshan Khan, UNICEF Regional Advisor for Education Philippe Testot-Ferry as well as the heads of the regional offices from 24 countries. Among them were Australia, Belgium, the UK, Egypt, Spain, Italy, Canada, Korea, Norway, Russia, the USA, Sudan, Japan, and other countries. All of them will take part in a session of the regional group to discuss the state, ways of advancement, and the prospects of development of inclusive education in Belarus.

 

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