Today at the initiative of RA Human Rights Defender's staff, a discussion has been held concerning the issues of inclusive education at “Luse” Centre for children with disabilities. Human Rights Defender Arman Tatoyan, RA Minister of Education and Science Arayik Harutyunyan, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Mane Tandilyan, Minister of Health Arsen Torosyan, as well as representatives from local and international organizations were present at the discussion. The discussion was organized with the support of the organization “Save the Children.”
Arayik Harutyunyan, Minister of Education and Science, mentioned that there are many problems on the way to universal inclusive education. According to him, steps have already been taken in that direction, but they are not enough. Referring to other issues of inclusive education, that is, the needs of the children are not fully assessed, the schools are not adjusted, there are issues concerning certain programs and teacher training, and sometimes there is resistance from special schools, the Minister mentioned, "At present, universal inclusive education has been introduced in three provinces of Armenia: Syunik, Lori and Tavush. According to the schedule, from September 1, this system should also be adopted in Yerevan and the province of Armavir. Obviously, In Yerevan this process is delayed until January, as for the province of Armavir, we are constantly working with other interested agencies and experts to keep up the schedule.
By the example of the province Armavir, I can state, that because of local authorities, previously preparations have not been made properly. In particular, parents were unaware of what their children should do after special schools, they were not exposed to the benefits of inclusive education, and because of all this, we should now make individual decisions on all the issues. Arayik Harutyunyan mentioned, "Actually, the problem is systemic, and, first of all, the solution is in activating interdepartmental cooperation. I assure you that the government is quite willing to solve all problems.”
During the discussion, Lusine Arakelyan, RA Deputy Minister of Education and Science, presented the state policy of universal inclusive education in the sphere of general education.
The issues of inclusive education were also presented, according to the RA Human Rights Defender's reports, and current opportunities and challenges of social justice and inclusion in the field of education.
At the end of the discussion, the parties discussed the implementation of further steps in the field of inclusive education.