Promoting inclusive education in the Republic of Moldova: clear objectives, strong commitments, responsible policies

Ensuring the right to quality education of children and young people on equal terms is a fundamental right officially recognized in the Republic of Moldova. In this regard, the APSCF welcomes the second objective of the Action Plan on the implementation of the National Program for Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities for the years 2017-2022, objective aiming to ensure the right to quality education of children and young people with different types of disabilities in educational institutions, on an equal terms with others – the goals set by the government in this program are a good starting point in implementing inclusive education. The positive experience of the schools piloting the inclusive inclusive education programs in collaboration with NGOs shows that where appropriate support exists, the school environment is more friendly and accessible to all children and the results are satisfactory for all the world: from teachers, parents to beneficiaries – both children with special educational needs and their colleagues.

On the other hand, there is a need for funding and funding management mechanism to make it possible to achieve these objectives in a realistic way. We believe that to achieve these goals, we need:

  • defining / approving an applicable model for the inclusion of children with disabilities in early education institutions to ensure their right to education;
  • personalization of the necessary resources at national level according to needs and standard cost per pupil;
  • constant monitoring of the access of children with SEN to inclusive education services in the territory;
  • annual assessment of the progress / dynamics of the implementation of the national plan in terms of the proposed objectives;
  • verifying the adequacy of resources for inclusive education and introducing appropriate measures to provide the funds needed to achieve the proposed objectives;
  • more active involvement of LPAs in increasing the physical accessibility of children with locomotor disabilities in educational institutions (road repairs, transport insurance, building ramps at school buildings, adapting auxiliary rooms, etc.), as well as supporting vulnerable families children with SEN for the educational integration of these children;
  • allocation the educational institutions with financial resources for specialized equipment for the assistance of children with sensory disorders and children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD);
  • reducing the number of pupils in classes in which children with SEN are taught up to a maximum of 15, of which 2-3 are with SEN;
  • elaboration and approval of the norms for endowment of schools and kindergartens with technologies, equipments, systems of alternative communication, etc. to support the inclusion of children with SEN;
  • developing / improving the professional competencies of class / group pedagogues, support teachers, coordinators of intra-school multidisciplinary teams in inclusive education. In this context, it is necessary to continuously training these groups, based on theoretical and practical courses, as well as mentoring at the workplace. Providing teachers with the necessary methodological and didactic materials for the development and implementation of adapted and modified curricula, differentiated assessment of students with different educational needs. Organizing training for teachers on work strategies with children with SEN.
  • analyzing school’s use of financial resources for inclusive education over the last two years, and developing measures to make more effective use of the budget for inclusive education. The revision of the calculation formula for financial provision of implementation of inclusive education in schools and kindergartens, so as to cover the needs of pupils / children with different levels of disability.
  • special attention for support teachers as an crucial component for the successful implementation of inclusive education initiatives and the review of the number of assisted children (the ratio of 5 children with severe / associated and 10 children with SEN).

In conclusion, we want to express our desire to continue the dialogue with state institutions on all aspects of inclusive education as constructive partners. We hope and expect at the same time to find in all stakeholders and representatives of government institutions the good intentions and personal commitment that are so necessary to ensure that all children in the Republic of Moldova have equal access to quality education.

Download the full text of the position document in .pdf format here.