Wednesday, July 5 2017 17:00 EEST
Ukraine
President signed Law on peculiarities of access of persons with special needs to educational services and transport services for such persons
President,  Signed, Law, Peculiarities, Access, Persons, Special, Educational,  Services, Transport,  Services

In the course of the visit to Kyiv secondary school №168, President Petro Poroshenko signed Law of Ukraine “On Amendments to Law of Ukraine “On Education” as regards Peculiarities of Access of Persons with Special Needs to Educational Services” and Law “On Amendments to Article 31 of Law of Ukraine “On Rehabilitation of People with Disabilities in Ukraine” as regards Transport Services for Such Persons”.

The Head of State noted that he was glad to meet the staff of the educational institution that had initiated a very good case of preparing young Ukrainians for life under conditions of inclusion. He said that when he visited different classes of the school and talked to the pupils, he saw that little children already understand what inclusion is, can help children with special needs socialize and feel full-fledged citizens of our state.

“I can only imagine how difficult it was in the school when the words “inclusion”, “inclusive” were totally new for society, politicians and educational bureaucracy. And not every official in the ministries and educational departments knew what it is. I would like to pay tribute to those enthusiasts who have probably undertaken this important and very difficult case already in the beginning of the year 2000, especially in those conditions,” the President stressed.

According to him, at that time, it was necessary to look for the like-minded people, elaborate experimental educational programs, knock on the locked doors.

Petro Poroshenko noted that today is an absolutely different day and Ukraine enjoys great success. The President recalled the completion of the ratification of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement and the visa waiver for Ukrainians. “I would like to emphasize that it is not only the right to travel freely, but also the right and duty to be European and, inter alia, have respective attitude to children, to our citizens with special needs,” the President noted.

According to him, inclusion is inextricably linked with our European choice. That is why it is crucially important for the Parliament to elaborate and adopt the law on amendments to law “On Education” as regards the inclusive education as soon as possible.

“Now, after signing this law, children and parents cannot be refused. And we must turn the school into a real European educational institution,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized.

“Today, we take part in a historic moment. It is not in the Presidential Administration, not in the Government, not in the Verkhovna Rada, but in your school that I have made a decision to sign this law. It is new given its imperative guarantees for teaching children and young people with special educational needs on an equal footing with other pupils in the inclusive educational environment,” Petro Poroshenko informed.

Besides, the President also signed Law “On Amendments to Article 31 of Law of Ukraine “On Rehabilitation of People with Disabilities in Ukraine” as regards Transport Services for Such Persons”. “Today, it is the duty of the state to provide transport for every person with special needs,” the Head of State noted. The President is confident that Ukraine has created all the necessary conditions for the development of inclusive educational environment. “However, one can reach success in the introduction of the inclusive education in Ukraine only with a systemic approach. In this context, I should note the activity of the Government and the Ministry that demonstrates a very active position in the given issue. The state authorities must overcome barriers in the access of children to education jointly,” he stressed.

Petro Poroshenko also noted that he signed the given law exactly in school №168 for the whole Ukraine to know about the great achievements of the pedagogical staff of this institution. “How pupils live as a one community, how children study sign language and sing songs even if only one child in the class has special needs,” he said adding that it means to be a true European from a young age.

The President noted that every fifth pupil of this school has special needs and that is why it is a great example how to overcome barriers. “You are a model for imitation both in Kyiv and in all regions,” the Head of State said.

\He also emphasized the active role of the local authorities, NGOs and volunteers. “I would like to thank everyone who joined the real work on the implementation of the school experiment of integrated teaching of children with limited physical abilities in conditions of secondary general education,” the President noted.

Petro Poroshenko also thanked his wife Maryna Poroshenko who had made significant efforts over the past two years to distribute the positive experience of inclusive education all over the country. Pilot projects on inclusive education are already being implemented in Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, Khmelnytskyi, Chernihiv and Zhytomyr regions.

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