Inclusive education in Kazakhstan. Personal perspective

Inclusive education remains to be a big confusion to me, both as a student of inclusive education cohort and as a teacher. Assessing it now is a complex task. The perspectives of inclusive education is not considered as a reform only, but also supported by the law on several approaches: education, social defend of the rights and vocational provision. All of them aimed at providing disadvantaged students with least restrictive environment. This do not depend on government only, here participation of non-governmental organizations more or less facilitates the burden. There are many organizations working with people with special needs, up to now almost all of them have been working on their socialization and health care, creating them zones of support, like social clubs of interest and sport activities. I need to assume this in turn helps them socialize and feel less restricted from the society. Even though, the field of education has been hard to attach. However, having reviewed the literature on this issue of Kazakhstan, I understood that from the beginning it is rated as an issue. Respectively, attitudes towards this idea are mostly negative. In the case of Kazakhstan such a relation was inherited from the Soviet Union traditional approach of common belief in the society. People used to avoid meeting people with disabilities in the streets, not mentioning everyday school classes. Having considered such circumstances, as a teacher I can understand the worry of the teachers, defectologists and parents. Teachers are too much concerned about pedagogy, favorable conditions for these exceptional students; this is understandable, because they are not trained at the higher education institutions to meet the requirements of the students with special needs. Then, parents of children with disabilities are afraid to give their children to mainstream schools, because of the low awareness of the benefit for their children and because of the fear of being rejected by the society. What concerns defectologists, they worry about their profession, their status. They are afraid that with the implementation of the inclusive education, the requirement for their profession will deteriorate.

One of the reasons for such a consequence is that people with disabilities have always been marginalized and have always remained unaddressed and unnoticeable. In this respect, I would suggest to promote inclusion in general, with the help of mass media. Promotion will increase public awareness, firstly. Secondly, society will get used to the fact that the world does not contain only healthy people.

The next point I would like to highlight is the promises and numbers. According to the State Program of Education in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2011-2020 the incredible numbers were given like 70% of schools will be inclusive until 2020. But how realistic is this, is still a big question. On the one hand this is good to have higher aims to try to reach, but on the other hand, it is better to have concrete realistic goals, where you know what to do and where to go.

Overall, I believe in the future of inclusive education and the country. Step by step, time by time everything will be achieved, not at once and not everything.

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