Students with disabilities to receive enhanced detection, intervention, and referral services for inclusive education
All students, including children with disabilities, will receive enhanced quality support in mainstream schools and benefit from early detection, timely intervention, and an effective referral system. To support this effort, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, UNICEF organised a series of workshops dedicated to the recently introduced national initiative, SIRAT (Integrated System for Development and Education).
A group of 750 selected master teachers from across the country participated in the SIRAT TOT workshops, financially supported by the European Union, from June 13 to August 3 in Khorasan Razavi, Kerman, Isfahan, Fars, Tehran, Kermanshah, Ardebil and Mazandaran provinces.
The next phase will involve these educators conducting cascade training sessions within their respective provinces and districts. The objective is to equip approximately 360,000 primary-level teachers with comprehensive knowledge about SIRAT. Furthermore, these mainstream teachers will be trained to effectively identify, intervene, and facilitate referrals to specialized services for children with disabilities, while preventing stigmatization and labeling.
Primary-level students, the main beneficiaries of this initiative, will receive enhanced assistance tailored to their stage of developmental and individual needs. This assistance will be offered within the school environment and, if necessary, through comprehensive centres that offer specialised support.
Based on the latest official data in 2021, there are 142,000 students with disabilities enrolled in formal education, with 65,000 attending inclusive mainstream schools. Despite a notable increase in the number of inclusive schools (20 per cent of total schools), there remain challenges for students with disabilities to seamlessly integrate into the mainstream system.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Education, UNICEF has been actively working to enhance access to quality, inclusive education for all children. The focus is on bolstering disability inclusion within mainstream services through measures like enhancing physical accessibility and providing educational resources within mainstream schools. Additionally, UNICEF is devising targeted interventions specifically aimed at removing barriers faced by children with disabilities, such as providing assistive technologies and training for special education teachers.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.