Innovative Policy 2016 on Inclusive education and ICT
Inclusive Education in post-war instability
|Responsible body||Ministry of Education, UNICEF|
To roll-out its early intervention and Inclusive Education practices piloted since 2004, the Iraqi-Kurdistan Ministry of Education developed the Inclusive Education Programme of 2007, with financial and technical support from UNICEF. The programme involves replicating Inclusive Education and early intervention across the region, opening early intervention centres, developing materials, and training staff. Since 2007 considerable steps towards Inclusive Education have been made.
Traditionally, Iraqi children with disabilities have been offered education in special schools, and were routinely denied access to mainstream schools. Furthermore, due to two decades of war and instability, Iraq’s education system was greatly diminished. In 2004 the Ministry of Education of the Region of Kurdistan developed a pilot programme on early intervention and Inclusive education, which was implemented in the city of Sulaimany. In 2007 the pilot programme was expanded and received funding and technical support from UNICEF and other partners. While Inclusive Education programmes were also implemented in other regions of Iraq, the most promising results were achieved in Iraqi-Kurdistan.
«Our beauty is greater with knowledge, learning shoulder to shoulder. Let education benefit all of us, from generation to generation.»
The Inclusive Education Programme of Iraqi-Kurdistan of 2007 is a regional, non-legally binding policy. Policies, processes, and guidelines were developed to support structures within the regional Ministry of Education and the general directorates of the region in implementing the programme. Early intervention programmes were developed with families. A comprehensive curriculum for teachers, including a variety of modules and a workshop, was also developed. Monitored by UNICEF, this training benefited from the expertise of local disabled people’s organizations, which, for instance, helped teachers to practice sign language. Teaching support staff and supervisors received training on how to provide the necessary support to children with disabilities in schools. The programme primarily operates within existing school budgets. Additional activities require a specific request for funding through the general budget or via UNICEF. Occasionally, organizations assist with specific needs.
Nominated by: Dr. Karen CHESTERTON KHAYAT, Education Consultant