Inclusion of school-age children with disabilities in Ukraine.
Located in Eastern Europe Eastern Europe
The countries of eastern Europe, especially those that were allied with the USSR in the Warsaw Pact, which was established in 1955 and dissolved in 1991. , Ukraine sits at a crossroads between Europe and Asia. The Ukrainian republic was the most important economic component of the former Soviet Union, producing about four times the output of the next-ranking republic. Shortly after independence was ratified rat·i·fy
tr.v. rat·i·fied, rat·i·fy·ing, rat·i·fies
To approve and give formal sanction to; confirm. See Synonyms at approve. by the former Soviet Union in December 1991, the Ukrainian government erected a legal framework for privatization privatization: see nationalization.
Transfer of government services or assets to the private sector. State-owned assets may be sold to private owners, or statutory restrictions on competition between privately and publicly owned . However, widespread resistance to reform within the government and the legislature has stalled reform efforts and led to some backtracking (algorithm) backtracking - A scheme for solving a series of sub-problems each of which may have multiple possible solutions and where the solution chosen for one sub-problem may affect the possible solutions of later sub-problems. (Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs In the United States Government, the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs is part of the U.S. Department of State, charged with implementing U.S. foreign policy and promoting U.S. , 2003). Economic output has declined since independence, particularly with agricultural and industrial products (The World Factbook, 2006). Today, Ukraine struggles with developing capital markets and attempting to improve the legislative framework for private businesses (Benardo & Silber, 2005).
Education in Ukraine This article is about education in Ukraine. General information
Ukraine's educational system has produced nearly 100% literacy.
It is compulsory from the age of 7, while many children also attend certain pre-school courses at 6.
Since its independence, Ukraine has attempted to restructure its Soviet-style education system. Following independence, for example, the government made Ukrainian the official language (although many schools still give instruction in Russian), creating a pressing need for textbooks and other educational materials in the Ukrainian language Ukrainian language, also called Little Russian: see Russian language; Slavic languages.
formerly Ruthenian language . Today, education leaders report that Ukraine has a European public education structure that provides preschool through higher education higher education
Study beyond the level of secondary education. Institutions of higher education include not only colleges and universities but also professional schools in such fields as law, theology, medicine, business, music, and art. to its citizens (Raver rave
v. raved, rav·ing, raves
1. To speak wildly, irrationally, or incoherently.
2. To roar; rage: The storm raved along the coast.
3. , in press). The principal levels now offered are: preschool, primary general education, basic general secondary education, full general secondary education, vocational technical education, education qualification levels for "qualified workers," and higher education, including undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral education (Korsak, 1998). Education reform has been sluggish and fraught fraught
1. Filled with a specified element or elements; charged: an incident fraught with danger; an evening fraught with high drama.
2. with resistance and setbacks, mirroring Ukraine's efforts to revamp re·vamp
tr.v. re·vamped, re·vamp·ing, re·vamps
1. To patch up or restore; renovate.
2. To revise or reconstruct (a manuscript, for example).
3. To vamp (a shoe) anew.
n. its economy and productivity levels (Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, 2003).
Some education reforms, however, have reported positive outcomes. For example, as of 2001, 39 percent of preschool-age children attended preschools, a noted national priority (System of the Education in Ukraine, 2001). The country's movement toward a 12-year public education program has been accepted, prompting revisions in primary education. Now, the curriculum for primary education is described as being based on "human values Human Values is the universal concept that preserves and enhances Homo Sapiens as a species, this applies to every human being on the present universe, anything against this values brings the consequence of a Self Species Extermination Event (SSEE) like hate, racism or war. , on the principles of scientific and cultural development, humanism humanism, philosophical and literary movement in which man and his capabilities are the central concern. The term was originally restricted to a point of view prevalent among thinkers in the Renaissance. , democracy, and mutual respect among different ethnic groups" (System of the Education of Ukraine, 2001, p. 1). Despite a call to modify the curriculum for secondary education as well, reform of the more than 36,000 secondary schools has been slow (System of the Education of Ukraine, 2001).
Special Education in Ukraine
For many years, children with developmental problems, sensory disorders, brain dysfunction dysfunction /dys·func·tion/ (dis-funk´shun) disturbance, impairment, or abnormality of functioning of an organ.dysfunc´tional
erectile dysfunction impotence (2). , and complex disorders have remained at the margins of the Ukrainian regular education system or have been excluded from it. These children are educated by a separate, special school system, which consists of independent institutions, many of them operating as boarding schools It may never be fully completed or, depending on its its nature, it may be that it can never be completed. However, new and revised entries in the list are always welcome. (Csanyi, 2004). In 2004, 1.8 percent of the children in Ukraine were registered as having disabilities. The Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science reported that during the 2005-06 academic year, 54,100 children with special education needs received education in 396 special schools (Open Society Institute and Soros Foundation A Soros Foundation is one of a network of national foundations, mostly in Central and Eastern Europe, which fund volunteer socio-political activity, created by George Soros, international financier and self-proclaimed philanthropist, and coordinated since early 1994 by a management Network, 2006). Special schools serve children with specific disabilities (such as physical disabilities), mental retardation mental retardation, below average level of intellectual functioning, usually defined by an IQ of below 70 to 75, combined with limitations in the skills necessary for daily living. , sensory disabilities (such as visual impairment Visual Impairment Definition
Total blindness is the inability to tell light from dark, or the total inability to see. Visual impairment or low vision is a severe reduction in vision that cannot be corrected with standard glasses or contact lenses and or blindness, and deafness or hearing impairments hearing impairment
A reduction or defect in the ability to perceive sound. ), social-emotional needs, and health needs. These boarding schools prepare children educationally and socially, and many offer work rehabilitation rehabilitation: see physical therapy. . Most special schools offer 6 to 12 years of schooling, although some children with special needs, such as blindness and hearing impairments, may now study for 13 years (Bondar, 2004).
In 1995, Ukraine ratified the European Convention European Convention Europe n → Europäische(r) Konvent m, EU-Konvent m for Human Rights, granting social protection to its citizens with disabilities. However, the law did not extend to equality in education. Because of this, one of the most heated, and polarizing, topics in the education reform "movement" has been the concept of educational and social inclusion of children with special needs.
Inclusion at the Primary and Secondary School Levels
Teaching children with special needs with peers in regular education settings, called integration or inclusion, began to gain some national attention in the late 1990s (Bondar, 2004; Open Society Institute and Soros Foundation Network, 2006; Zasenko, 2004). The issue has been driven by movements for civil rights from outside international forces, such as UNESCO UNESCO: see United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
in full United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (1994) and the Open Society Institute and Soros Foundation Network (2006). Although a few international projects are attempting to change public opinion regarding integration, most ministry representatives and families of children with disabilities believe the present system of segregated special boarding schools should continue (Bondar, 2004).
In the spring of 2006, representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science, Committee for Science and Education of the Parliament of Ukraine, the Academy of Pedagogical ped·a·gog·ic also ped·a·gog·i·cal
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of pedagogy.
2. Characterized by pedantic formality: a haughty, pedagogic manner. Science of Ukraine, nongovernmental organizations Transnational organizations of private citizens that maintain a consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Nongovernmental organizations may be professional associations, foundations, multinational businesses, or simply groups with a common interest in , state education institutions, and representatives of eight foreign countries (Lithuania, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Moldova, Russia, and Hungary) held a conference to discuss policy recommendations for inclusive education and to exchange information about practices, development, and implementation of inclusive education in their countries. To advance implementation of inclusion in Ukraine, participants made the following recommendations to the Ukrainian Ministry of Education:
* Systematize sys·tem·a·tize
tr.v. sys·tem·a·tized, sys·tem·a·tiz·ing, sys·tem·a·tiz·es
To formulate into or reduce to a system: "The aim of science is surely to amass and systematize knowledge" the collection of statistical data to correspond with the international approach to disability classification
* Accept the philosophy of inclusive education at the state policy level and change legislative documents
* Accept the concept of inclusion, and begin the development of reforms at all levels of the education system
* Develop a coordinating center for the development of inclusive education, with representatives of the Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry for Health Protection, Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Family and Youth, other civic organizations, and parents of children with special needs (Raver, in press).
To lobby for the adoption of these recommendations, a series of regional seminars were planned and a public relations public relations, activities and policies used to create public interest in a person, idea, product, institution, or business establishment. By its nature, public relations is devoted to serving particular interests by presenting them to the public in the most campaign organized to raise the public's understanding of the possible positive outcomes of inclusive education. Although these proposals are encouraging, a strong cultural resistance to implementing inclusive practices nationally may prove difficult to overcome (Raver, in press; Vilkos, 2005).
Ukrainian Step by Step Foundation. The most effective work in inclusion today is being conducted by the Ukrainian Step by Step Foundation, a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization Nonprofit Organization
An association that is given tax-free status. Donations to a non-profit organization are often tax deductible as well.
Examples of non-profit organizations are charities, hospitals and schools. that promotes the process of democratic reform in education. This foundation fosters quality education for all children, especially children with special needs and other underserved children (Ukrainian Step by Step Foundation, 2003). During 2005-06, the International Renaissance Foundation's Education Program, with partner support from the Ukrainian Step by Step Foundation, implemented a country-wide project aimed at changing national policy on the education of children with special needs. The project supports several pilot integration programs. In this experiment, children with special needs participate in fully integrated and partially integrated settings. In partially integrated settings, children with disabilities have contact with their typically developing peers, primarily through social, extracurricular activities (Bondar, 2004).
Since being launched in 1999, the Ukrainian Step by Step Foundation has implemented demonstration integration programs in 17 of Ukraine's 25 regions, reaching more than 15,500 children and their families (Ukrainian Step by Step Foundation, 2003). Primary and secondary school-age children with disabilities have been integrated into existing schools, although a few new inclusion schools have been established. The type and amount of support given to teachers and students in these schools varies from site to site. It is too soon to evaluate the outcomes of this project, which is scheduled to continue for several years. The project approaches reform with three programs: 1) teacher training, 2) inclusion, and 3) educating minorities.
* Teacher Training Program. This project provides basic and advanced courses to teachers working in traditional and inclusive classrooms. Training is provided in disability awareness, accommodative practices, and instructional organization. Ongoing consultations for preschool, primary and secondary school teachers, school administrators, university teachers, and parents also are provided.
* Inclusion of Children With Special Needs Program: Related Issues. This project offers teacher training, seminars, roundtable discussions, conferences, and published materials to governmental and nongovernmental organizations dealing with issues concerning the integration of children with special needs into active Ukrainian life. The specific services offered depend on schools' stated needs. Additionally, efforts to increase disability awareness and improve public attitudes regarding integration are conducted through roundtable discussions, films, and published materials.
Education of Minorities Program. This project offers teacher training, seminars, roundtable discussions, and conferences in regions with the highest percentage of diversity to promote appropriate, culturally sensitive practices. Frequently, the national minorities who are the subject of these programs have been denied consistent access to educational services in the past.
Despite programs like these, Ukraine currently lacks the necessary legislative and economic framework to make inclusion viable and has a limited pool of skilled personnel to teach in inclusive programs (Kolupayeva, 2004).
Barriers to Inclusion in Ukraine
Many in Ukraine are still holding on to the promises of the 2004 Orange Revolution and President Yushchenko's declaration that Ukraine was on a trajectory Trajectory
The curve described by a body moving through space, as of a meteor through the atmosphere, a planet around the Sun, a projectile fired from a gun, or a rocket in flight. to conform to Verb 1. conform to - satisfy a condition or restriction; "Does this paper meet the requirements for the degree?"
coordinate - be co-ordinated; "These activities coordinate well" European norms and values (Bernardo & Silber, 2005). Some hoped that this trajectory would involve the restructuring of the general and special education systems (Bondar, 2004). Unfortunately, many educators, administrators, and families worry that, several years later, restructuring and inclusion have not moved very far on the path from rhetoric to real action (Institute of Special Pedagogy, 2004).
The implementation of inclusion in Ukraine faces many significant barriers. Inclusive education, when done appropriately, can be more expensive than the present education system. This is a formidable challenge for a country that struggles to meet its everyday operating needs. As Alla Kolupayeva, Scientific Secretary of the Institute of Special Pedagogy, reported in 2004: "Only an economically stable and developed country can afford to mainstream the majority of its children with special needs" (p. 143). Without the financial support of organizations outside Ukraine, it is unclear how inclusive education could be funded. At the present time, inclusion in Ukraine must contend with unreliable governmental policies and funding, historically negative public attitudes toward individuals with differences, and a limited infrastructure to support inclusive practices.
Inconsistent Governmental Policy and Funding.
To move forward with inclusion, Ukraine must have an explicit policy statement from its central education ministries supporting inclusion. A coordinated action from several national ministries in Ukraine, including Education and Science, Health Protection, and Social Policy, is necessary to develop this policy. Unfortunately, these ministries do not have a history of collaboration and cooperation. Therefore, it is unclear if, or when, a national policy will be devised, or if the financial support needed for implementation will be identified or dispersed dis·perse
v. dis·persed, dis·pers·ing, dis·pers·es
a. To drive off or scatter in different directions: The police dispersed the crowd.
Negative Public Attitudes Regarding Disabilities.
Only about 58 percent of regular education teachers and 15 percent of special education teachers supported Ukraine's first country-wide experiment with integration in 2000 (Kolupayeva, 2004). It appears that attitudes have changed little since then. For inclusion to be successful, a supportive public attitude toward individual differences is essential. Part of the problem seems to be that many citizens believe that "typical" children and adults are presently not receiving appropriate educational and economic support, and consequently worry that less will be provided if individuals with disabilities begin to take a share of the country's very limited resources. Despite this, as a nation, Ukraine's rhetoric appears to support a willingness to change cultural biases against individuals with disabilities. In truth, real changes in societal so·ci·e·tal
Of or relating to the structure, organization, or functioning of society.
Adj. attitudes will undoubtedly take time, maybe generations--as they have in other countries.
Limited Infrastructure To Support Inclusion Implementation. Effective inclusive education requires mandatory primary, secondary, and higher education teacher training in curricula and material adaptation, instructional organization, and accommodative strategies. Class size must be considered, appropriate differentiated materials must be available, and additional adults may be needed in classrooms to support individualization individualization,
n the process of tailoring remedies or treatments to cure a set of symptoms in an indiv-idual instead of basing treatment on the common features of the disease. of instruction. None of these supports exist in Ukrainian schools. Most of the model inclusion projects use educational methods from the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. and Europe that may or may not be culturally appropriate. Although governmental ministries are aware of most of these needs, replicable educational research in Ukraine is lacking, largely because data are managed differently in each ministry and evaluations of programs and methodology are rare (Kolupayeva, 2004).
Ukraine's education system undoubtedly has come a long way since independence. Ukraine has an excellent disabilities rights law; however, the law is largely ignored. Despite advances in protecting and respecting individuals with disabilities, attitudes toward disabilities can still be severe, negative, and isolating (Vilkos, 2005). In spite of these challenges, international funding for model inclusion programs has given Ukraine, and other countries with an interest in inclusion, a chance to experience both the positive and negative aspects of this model. As Ukraine moves forward in its human rights efforts and its goal of becoming a truly egalitarian e·gal·i·tar·i·an
Affirming, promoting, or characterized by belief in equal political, economic, social, and civil rights for all people. society, decision-makers must be reflective about education reforms. They must be cautious and embrace changes that are economically viable and enjoy community support. By approaching inclusion in this way, Ukraine, and other nations making this journey, will find that they are in the proper position to do the right thing for children with, and without, disabilities.
Benardo, L., & Silber, L. (2005). Ukraine's dream is not dead--yet. The Globe and Mail (New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of ), October 6.
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ELTE El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail (US National Park Service)
ELTE Ethernet Line Termination Equipment University.
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UAP is situated in Ring House 2 on the University of Alberta campus, located in Edmonton, Alberta, and publishes an .
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Sharon A Raver is Professor, Department of Special Education, Old Dominion University “ODU” redirects here. For other uses, see ODU (disambiguation).
The university was recently named one of the best colleges in the Southeast by The Princeton Review. , Norfolk, Virgina Kateryna Kolchenko is Prorector of Science and Foreign Affairs foreign affairs
Affairs concerning international relations and national interests in foreign countries. , Open International University of Human Development "Ukraine," Kyiv, Ukraine,