Ensuring the right to education for children with special educational needs, including children with disabilities, was the main topic discussed today, December 10, 2019, in Chisinau, during the fourth edition of the annual national conference on inclusive education.
The Republic of Moldova, by ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, has committed itself to ensure that all children have a fulfilled and decent life, to guarantee their dignity, to promote their autonomy and to facilitate active participation of children with special educational needs and children with disabilities in the life of the community.
Thus, the event contributes to consolidating the efforts of the decision makers regarding the inclusion of children, pupils and students with special educational needs and disabilities in all educational institutions in the Republic of Moldova. The conference brought together about 200 participants: representatives of central and local public authorities, civil society, development partners, representatives of the academic environment, national and international experts, parents, teachers.
“Education in the Republic of Moldova, like other education systems in other countries, is in a continuous process of updating and adapting to social, economic and technological developments. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Research will continue to implement concrete actions for connecting the legal and institutional framework for child and family protection to international policies, in order to ensure social equity and access to quality studies” – the Secretary of State for Education, Culture and Research, Natalia Grau.
UNICEF Country Representative in Moldova, Desiree Jongsma said that “inclusive education is not a project, it is a feature of the education system“. “Moldova has done great so far. The achievements speak for themselves: the number of special schools and the number of children in these schools is constantly decreasing, while the number of children with disabilities in the normal classes is increasing. Moldova is already an example to be followed in the region”, added Desiree Jongsma.
“The Alliance of NGOs active in the field of Child and Family Social Protection has committed to invest in the quality of life of children in Moldova. We want all children to reach their full potential, and this can be achieved by ensuring their access to education. As a civil society, we have committed to be partners for the Government, the educational institutions, and for the teachers in ensuring access to a fair, inclusive and quality education for all children. The Alliance undertook to act as a partner in promoting equitable education by developing programs, by conducting campaigns and offering assistance in training teachers. Changes can be brought about only by concerted effort,” said Carolina Buzdugan, General Secretary of APSCF.
At the end of the event, the participants adopted a resolution, undertaking a common commitment to work for eliminating the barriers and for creating opportunities for access to education for all children.
The event was organized by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research (MECC) together with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF Moldova) and the Alliance of active NGOs in the field of child and family protection (APSCF), in the context of the implementation of the Inclusive Education Development Program in the Republic of Moldova for 2011-2020.