“Perspective” ROOI manager
– Ms Rosa, the system of inclusive education in Russia suggests that we should consider the difference in psychological patterns in the G8 countries, In the West, for instance, people treat invalid or adopted children in an absolutely different way. In Germany it has become a common practice to adopt the children that lost their home during the wars in the South-Western Asia. Russia, on the contrary, lets foreigners adopt its young citizens. How much does the Civil Society can change those stereotypes? What can be done so that the inclusive education in our country will be treated adequately to the European visions of this problem?
– Ms. Rosa. – We can do a lot and something is already being done. In particular, we have formed a special working group, consisting mainly of teachers who have been working with the disabled kids for a long time. All of them are convinced that a child with physical or mental flaws should have the same rights as all the other children do. Moreover, these rights should be supported by standard acts. Now the situation in Russia is different and we face serious problems. There are a lot of citizens who are not ready to accept the infant disability as not a standard deviation but as something common and natural.
Both parents and teachers have their stereotypes, which vary from harmless superstitions to rude ignorance. Many people do not want to acknowledge that a disable child can study and work as other people. It is characteristic that parents of the healthy children are far more resistant to the inclusive education.
We strive to change the present state of things. First of all through education. When a person is well educated, when he does not see any problem in communicating with disabled children either thanks to the personal experience or to the special training, he can easily understand the inclusive education principles. It is not necessary to explain to the informed teacher how to work with a kid how other teachers do it.
– What are the new methods recommended to apply in the inclusive education process.
– There are many worthy initiatives. Certain region have a very interesting experience, for example Samara. The Interactive school in Moscow also works successfully. Recently another school has opened in Yujnoe Butovo. In fact it is a common secondary school but it is ready to accept disabled kids. The more schools like that there are, the faster the attitude of our society to such kids will change. In most G8 countries this question is solved, the disabled children, even with the Down syndrome study in common classes.
–In western countries, for example in Germany, there lots of internet pages for the citizens with physical or mental flaws, so that they would not feel lonely and could find friends in hobbies or get acquainted with their possible life partners. Do you work at creating the same web-sites here in Russia?
Rosa – There are such programs in Moscow. They give opportunity to a disabled child actively communicate with children of his age. But live communication cannot be substituted. We all make mistakes and learn from each other to correct them. Responsibility is acquired trough the personal experience. It’s the most important factor in the inclusive education.
It’s already proved that when disabled children study along with other children in public secondary schools, they develop different relationships with them. It may be seen as preventive measures against discrimination.