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The Ministry of Education and Culture and Representatives from Karin Dom Discussed the Recommendations for Inclusive Education in Bulgaria

27 July 2022

At the invitation of the Ministry of Education and Culture, on July 22, 2022, the representatives of Karin Dom Bistra Boncheva, administrative director, Nicoleta Yoncheva, speech therapist, Silvena, parent and chairman of “Life with Down Syndrome” Foundation and Diana Rangelova, parent of a child with Down syndrome, met with Mrs. Greta Gancheva, director of “Inclusive Education” Directorate. The difficulties for implementation of inclusive education in our country were presented. They were identified through focus groups with parents, resource teachers, special teachers, therapists from Karin Dom. Recommendations were presented to the Minister of Education and Science as well:

  • Adaptation of learning aids for children with special educational needs

One of the big difficulties for parents and teachers is that the variety of textbooks that schools and classes work and study on are not adapted for children with SEN and must be adapted by resource teachers. Karin Dom proposes that creative collectives, whose textbooks and teaching aids are adapted for children with SEN, have approval priority. This could be predetermined in the public procurement for the preparation of such materials. This, in turn, will support both parents and teachers.

  • Need for a non-teaching teacher’s assistant for each child with special educational needs

Currently, the Ordinance states that the school principal is obliged to appoint an assistant if there are 3 children with special needs in the class. If there are fewer children – such an assistant can be appointed at the principal’s request if deemed necessary. We suggest that the Ordinance be amended so that a teacher’s assistant be engaged throughout the day, even if there is only 1 child with special educational needs in the class. Also, we propose an amendment in the Ordinance on inclusive education – if a child is in an individual form of education, to have a quantitative and qualitative assessment of his achievements, etc.

Here we also raise the issue of volunteering – providing access to schools to volunteers who can support children with special educational needs and their teachers. Through voluntary work, many young people will get to know the profession and work with children with special educational needs.

  • Monitoring the number of children with SEN and a reciprocal increase of the number of resource teachers and a corresponding decrease in the number of children with whom 1 resource teacher works
  • Periodic updating of the financial standard for Inclusive Education and strict control of the “correct’’ spending and distribution in order to make the process of working with children with SEN effective
  • Need for trained staff – through universities, educational programs and practice. More practical training for teachers and introduction of mandatory classes in special pedagogy.

In the course of this dialogue, it also became clear that some of the problems in the implementation of inclusive education are due to ignorance of the legislative framework or misinterpretation of the texts by teachers and principals of kindergartens and schools, who are not informed that under the Ordinance on inclusive education resource teachers and an appropriate educational environment for teaching children with SEN can be provided. The recommendation is to periodically inform teachers and principals about the opportunities provided by the state, as well as to include them in the various trainings provided by the Ministry of Education and Culture on these issues.

During the meeting, specific guidelines were presented, which, although insignificant at first glance, can solve significant problems in Bulgarian education.

You can see the letter from Karin Dom’s team to the Minister of Education and Science here (in Bulgarian).

Строим новия терапевтичен и образователен комплекс във Варна

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