Inclusive education in Kazakhstan: legal, social, psychological and pedagogical aspects

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №4 - 2012

Author: Moshenskaya Natalya, Kazakh-American Free University, Kazakhstan

One of the main problems of education in Kazakhstan is the problem of inclusive education. Inclusive education is the involvement for all children of all religious and ethnic backgrounds, with any features in their physical development, of any economic or social status in the studying. The main objective of the introduction and development of inclusive education is the adaptation to the various needs of children in order to achieve full access to high-quality education.

On the one hand, inclusive education is the principle of education system forming, and, on the other hand, it is a process. The essence of this process is that schools, educational institutions, kindergartens, must accept children regardless of their peculiar characteristics. We are talking not only about children with physical disabilities, but also about healthy children, for example, very clever ones. All children are different, every child is unique in his abilities, and the education system should be based on the principle of distinction of children. All children belong to the society, and we should have an individual approach to each child, in order to consider and meet all their educational needs.

The basic principle of inclusive education is teaching children with special educational needs in ordinary educational institutions. The requirement for educational institutions is to provide all conditions for children.

Inclusive education is based on the following principles:

1. Value of a person doesn't depend on his (her) abilities and achievements;

2. Every person is able to feel and to think;

3. Every person has the right to communicate and to be heard;

4. All people need each other;

5. Genuine education can be implemented only in the context of real relations;

6. All people need support and friendship of age mates;

7. For each student the progress means reaching for success, not failure.

8. Diversity intensifies all aspects of human life.

The system of inclusive education involves primary, secondary and higher educational institutions. The set of measures assumes both technical equipping of educational institutions and development of the curriculum for educators and students aimed at the development of disabled people and interaction with them. There is also an obvious necessity in special programs developed to facilitate the adaptation of physically challenged children at educational institutions.

The educational system of Kazakhstan is still in the process of democratization. This is the stage of the strengthening of humanistic approaches to upbringing, development and education of the rising generation. This imparts a special relevance to the issue of creating conditions favorable for creative development, self-education and vocational self-determination of all children, including physically challenged ones.

Education as a process of knowledge and skill acquisition is an integral part of social and psychological adaptation and integration of disabled children in the society. It has a purpose of providing them with the access to the gnosiological basis and cultural-historic heritage of the humanity.

The educational environment prepares these children to professional activity and stimulates their personality potential development. Inclusive education is also considered to be the best form of establishing optimal interactions with surrounding people as coeducation itself allows improving the quality of everyday communications among children that have vital functional limitations.

Legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan and other fundamental international documents on human rights provide the principle of equal rights to education for all children in the country.

Moving from equal rights to equal opportunities in access to quality education for all children the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the "State Program of Development of Education in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2011-2020" identifies development of inclusive education as one of the important goals. The program includes measures of creating a legal framework for all children and also children with developmental disabilities to be involved in the general education area.

The process of creating and including of the regulatory and legal framework for the implementation of inclusive education in Kazakhstan is based on sociological and scientific studies that were made last decade by the experts of the National Research Centre for Special Education.

This project studied international experience and the point of view on inclusive education of various social groups. And also the analysis of statistical data on children with special needs across the regions of the country was made in four areas: health, education, social security, internal affairs.

With regional psychological, medical and educational consultations the scale of "spontaneous" inclusion of children with disabilities in mass pre-school and school organizations was determined. Such experience has a good influence on different regions of our country during the course of these studies and reviews.

All the needs of students and teachers to succeed are taken into account by inclusion. An inclusive school considers every student as an important part of a group which gives them a sense of confidence that can be the reason for the children to be responsive and kind. Disabled students are supported by their classmates. Nowadays there are a lot of schools that use inclusive education system, but there are still many problems for inclusive education to become mass. Here are the main points:

- Problems in architectural structure of educational institutions;

- In most cases disabled students are considered to be uneducable;

- The majority of school teachers and directors do not have proper education in the area of teaching disabled students, so they are not ready to involve disabled students into education process;

- Disabled students' parents don't know how to defend their children's rights to education.

Many specialists believe that inclusive education is a new stage in the development of education. State educational establishments in most cases do not consider the abilities of every child. The reasons of this may be overcrowding of classes - teachers just have no time to find individual approach to every student. But inclusive education gives a new opportunity to teach disabled children, which takes social support of this category of children to the next level.

Inclusive education is a progressive way in education that has big opportunities to develop in the modern society. To make it nationwide we need to consider the experience of foreign countries, which can be carried out by specialists, as most of current teachers are not able to change their approach to educational system.

Inclusive education is based on the idea that all the children should be treated in the same way, but disabled children should get special attention. About 15% of students are expelled because of system's inability to meet their needs. We should understand that it is the system to be blamed, not the children. Inclusive approach will give them a chance for a better life. Common education system is a process of general education, which means that every child is able to get knowledge. The main point of inclusive education is developing a methodology where every child is an individual that has different needs. And if teaching became more effective due to changes that introduce inclusive education it would have positive effect on all the students.

Inclusive school teaches children an idea of human rights which leads to decrease in discrimination so children learn to communicate to each other and recognize the feeling of other mates.

Disabled students first of all need an environment different from their family environments, communication with other students and mediator whose role is assigned to the teacher. Inclusive educational environment is formed by teachers that work altogether. Today development of inclusive educational system is the teachers' duty. There is no doubt that the inclusive educational environment is formed by a teacher, not just a teacher, but a team of teachers and specialists - a team working in interdisciplinary cooperation. Today primary school teachers, subject teachers, speech therapists, educational psychologists, teachers, speech pathologists, physical therapy instructors, teachers, teacher educators and tutors take part in the development of an inclusive educational environment.

As a result of their joint work we will get:

- Development of child's abilities;

- Creation of social relations system;

- Compensation of special needs;

- Creation of a comprehensive support system;

- Functional approach to teaching and treatment;

- Taking part in public activities;

- Development of self-sufficiency.

Inclusive education is trying to develop a new method of teaching that would be more flexible to meet the needs of different students. And if education becomes more effective due to changes that inclusive education adopts, all students will benefit from it.

REFERENCES

1. Improving Education. The Promise of Inclusive Schools. The US National Institute on city education improvement. Handbook. Retrieved from the web-site http://perspectiva-inva.ru

2. Sue Stubbs, Inclusive Education Where There are few resources. Textbook. Oslo, 2002.

3. National programme of Republic of Kazakhstan in education system development for 2011-2020. // "Kazakhstanskaya Pravda", December 14, 2010.



Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №4 - 2012

  
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