More than 1,500 Kazakhstani school and kindergarten teachers received free training in inclusive teaching. The three-week course was developed by an international team of expert professors from the NU Graduate School of Education and was implemented with the support of the Dara Foundation and Chevron. The main goal of the project was to prepare teachers who are motivated and capable of inclusive practice, who in the future could become agents of change in society and guarantee every child a quality education.
Kazakhstan adheres to the global principles of access to fair, affordable, and quality education. The number of children with special needs receiving equal access to general education environments is growing each year in Kazakhstani schools. However, studies have shown that although teachers understand the need to implement inclusive education, they often resist the inclusion of all children, especially those with severe disabilities, in the educational process with their peers. At the same time, according to researchers, it is the attitude of teachers that is a decisive factor for the transition to inclusive education. The analysis showed that some Kazakhstani teachers still hold the incorrect belief that children with disabilities cannot learn. This leads to the fact that such children are deprived of the opportunity to learn and contribute to the development of society.
“Experts from the Graduate School of Education, together with specialists from the Dara Foundation, known for its activities in the development of inclusion, took up the project and developed a training program for teachers. They need support and specialized skills development in the transition to inclusive education. Our project, which we called “Make education inclusive”, will contribute to the achievement of the goal of the State Program for the Development of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2020-2025 – to make all schools inclusive” said the project leader, professor of the NU Graduate School of Education Sulochini Pather.