Combining pedagogical and psychological support services in inclusive classrooms
- Provision of pedagogical and psychological support services to children in Tavush Marz
- Country of Implementation
- Start Year
- First published
“Supporting the child to learn, succeed, and enjoy the sense of belonging to a group is the most rewarding part of our work.” Armine Nersisyan, Director, Ijevan Community-based Centre, Bridge of Hope
In 2017, Bridge of Hope, a large Armenian service provider, initiated a project providing pedagogical and psychological support services for children with disabilities within 135 mainstream schools and kindergartens in Armenia’s Tavush Marz province. Individualized support of children, intensive teacher training, and the usage of assistive technologies are all part of the programme. By 2022, 550 children with disabilities were enrolled, which has influenced public policies in Armenia towards more inclusive legislation in education.
Limited access to mainstream schools and education curricula is a major challenge in Armenia, as is the failure to create inclusive educational environments in schools.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
Bridge of Hope is providing pedagogical and psychological support (PPS) services to preschools, secondary schools, and vocational schools in the Armenian province of Tavush Marz. It offers individualized support to children with disabilities, starting with an assessment of every child´s unique requirements, parental engagement, and community sensitization activities. The PPS model works with all types of disabilities, such as intellectual and learning disabilities (approximately half of the children), and high percentages also with autism, visual impairments, speech/language impairments, and physical and psychosocial disabilities. Usually, there are three to five children with disabilities in each classroom. Teacher training is also offered, as are assistive technologies, including devices tailored to individual disabilities. By 2023 the project was implemented in 53 preschools, 82 secondary schools, and 6 vocational schools, with approximately 550 children with disabilities as beneficiaries.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
In its first stage, the project was support by the Danish organization Mission East and the Danish Government. It has since been rolled out across the province of Tavush Marz and is now funded by the Armenian Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, with approximately $417,000 per year. The project has already had a significant impact on policy and practice changes in preschool and secondary education throughout Armenia. Its model has been used in the entire mainstream education system of Armenia. This expansion also includes the transformation of special schools into PPS centres for inclusive schools. In its next stage, 2024 to 2027, disability inclusion will be promoted with the vocational education and training system of Armenia. (Awardee 2024)