Inclusive education

UNICEF works to ensure all children are in school, and are receiving a quality education.

a girl in a wheelchair in a class, Moldova
UNICEF/Moldova/2012/Gutu

The challenge

Some children are more likely to miss out on education than others.

Many children in Moldova do not benefit fully from their right to education. Most schools have not yet become places to learn and socialize for the most vulnerable and excluded children, especially children with disabilities. Many are still excluded from mainstream education and consigned to so-called ‘special schools’. Some teachers still refuse to educate children with disabilities: only half of teachers believe that children with disabilities should study in regular schools.

Some parents fear that their children’s education will suffer if they share the classroom with a child who has a disability. Even though recent data shows improvements, many parents and caregivers still believe that children with disabilities should stay at home without receiving an education, or be sent to a residential institution or to a special school. Children with disabilities are left in institutions more often compared to other categories. One in three children in residential care is a disabled child. 

Children with mental disabilities are even more stigmatized than children with physical disabilities. The lack of support services and the weak capacities of staff in regular educational institutions to deal with children with disabilities slows down their inclusion. It also leaves children with less obvious forms of disability or learning difficulties without the individualized assistance needed to learn to their full potential.

A girl with Down syndrome from Straseni
UNICEF/Moldova/2012/Gutu

Less than 20 per cent of all parents believe children with disabilities should attend regular preschools together with other children.

The solution

Every girl and boy, everywhere, is entitled to high quality inclusive education.

UNICEF supports the government in taking children with disabilities from special residential institutions and integrating them into their families, communities, and schools. Changes in the education system enable teachers to have the knowledge and tools to adjust school programmes and teach to the needs and capacities of each child. Funding allocation mechanisms are being revised to ensure that schools have adequate financial resources to hire support teachers, create resource centres, and provide assistance to families of children with disabilities.

The number of children with special educational needs, a category that includes children with disabilities and those with learning difficulties in regular schools increased in the last years. At the same time, the number of children with disabilities in special and auxiliary schools has constantly decreased. 

Since 2012, a new funding formula ensured that two per cent of the State education budget is dedicated to inclusive education, leading to significant progress in the integration of children with disabilities into mainstream schools.

However, more needs to be done to ensure every child in Moldova, regardless of their level of ability, has a chance to stay in the family and attend school in the community. 

A new funding formula ensured that two per cent of the education budget is dedicated to inclusive education. 

The number of children with special educational needs, a category that includes children with disabilities and those with learning difficulties in regular schools increased in the last years.