BISHKEK, 16 November 2018 – To improve learning of children with disabilities across Kyrgyzstan, the Government has developed the Concept for Introduction of Inclusive Education. The Concept has been presented today by Altynai Omurbekova, the Vice Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic and Gulmira Kudaiberdieva, Minister of Education and Science at a roundtable organised with the aim to gather different inputs for further development of the State Concept and its National Plan for Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities. Introduction of inclusive education will be backed up by a new two-year programme that will promote inclusive education and improve learning outcomes, supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and UNICEF.
“The main idea of the Concept on Inclusive Education is to develop a comprehensive process which will allow to every child, especially with special education needs, to have access to quality education in regular preschool and school with their peers” stressed Minister of Education and Science Gulmira Kudaiberdieva.
The two-year program will be implemented in the Osh, Batken, Jalal-Abad and Chui oblasts. Beyond improved access to education, the program will support teachers and other education professionals to better teach reading to children.
“Every child has the right to quality education. However, we know that a large portion of children with disabilities remains out of school and that more work is needed to improve quality of education” said UNICEF Representative Yukie Mokuo. “We look forward to the day in which all children in Kyrgyzstan will be able to learn and develop to their full potential”.
The partnership aims to focus on reading and language skills building on the gains of USAID’s reading projects (Reading Together and Time to Read) that have reached all public schools with Kyrgyz and Russian languages of instruction in the Kyrgyz Republic.
“The U.S. Government, through USAID, works in close partnership with the Ministry of Education and Science to improve students’ reading skills across the Kyrgyz Republic and build a stronger foundation for learning in all areas of study, so that every child has a brighter future” said Gary Linden, USAID Mission Director in the Kyrgyz Republic.
The initiative will pilot the identification and enrollment of children with disabilities in 10 schools and 10 pre-schools in the same communities. In addition, the initiative will introduce multilingual education in 20 schools to improve reading outcomes of children. The most successful tools and approaches will be replicated and inform nationwide work on inclusive education.
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.