Special educators for special children: UzhNU trains first specialists in inclusive education
Inclusive education, which for decades has been an integral part of European and world educational stanardts, is being successfully implemented in Ukraine.
Inclusive education requires specialists trained specifically for this work. For three years now, they have been trained at the Faculty of Health and Physical Education of the Uzhgorod National University.
According to the dean of the Faculty, Ivan Mironyuk, this specialty is interesting and in demand at the education market. For UzhNU, it is relatively new: next year, first bachelors will graduate. Understanding the high demand for special pedagogues, the university is working to expand the licensed volume, which is currently very small and can not even cover the needs of Transcarpathian region market. They are also considering opening a master’s degree program.
Currently, as of January 2019, there are 6 schools with inclusive education in Uzhgorod, where 11 children are enrolled. In 8 secondary schools of Uzhgorod, there are 13 inclusive forms with 22 children, as well as one special form for children with mental disorders.
As for Transcarpathia, over the past three years, the number of inclusive schools in the region has increased threefold. In particular, in 2018, inclusive education was organized in 221 schools, where educational services are provided to children with special educational needs, including 497 children of school age and 54 children of preschool age. The number of assistant teachers and instructors has also increased threefold.
Inclusive education is relatively new in Ukraine, there is a big shortage of specialists. Defectologists, assistant teachers, teachers, oligophrenopedagogues, and speech therapists are particularly needed.
There is also a shortage of specialists to ensure normal functioning of inclusive resource centers. Since there are many children with mental disorders, there is a demand for defectologists, teachers of persons with oligophrenia and hearing impairment, as well as speech therapists, the official site of UzhNU informs.
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