Posted 21 июня 2021,, 12:56

Published 21 июня 2021,, 12:56

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

Disability as a hindrance: why Russia's inclusive education stalls

Disability as a hindrance: why Russia's inclusive education stalls

21 июня 2021, 12:56
Recent incidents with disabled children in schools and kindergartens have raised the issue of the effectiveness of inclusive education in Russia. A group of NGOs initiated an appeal to the Moscow mayor's office.
Disabled people

On the other hand, parents of healthy children often oppose inclusive education. The situation was understood by Novye Izvestia.

Irina Mishina

The state of emergency in the preschool department of the Moscow educational complex No. 338 is still being discussed. Let's remind: a boy diagnosed with autism, a pupil of a kindergarten belonging to this educational complex, escaped from it. As his mother told us, the child reached the pond near the Ivanovsky cemetery, located a kilometer away. There he was rescued from the water by a bystander. An internal investigation has begun at the school, its results have not been reported.

Other parents joined in the complaints of the mother of the rescued autistic boy. “My son Nikita, a disabled child, is attending a kindergarten... he had tutor support until the new year, after the new year there were no tutors. The management of the kindergarten only promises to provide tutors, there are no results”, - says Natalya Ignatievna Sotova. The answer from the administration of SOSH 338 to the parents was laconic: "The assistant working in preschool group 3/5 was transferred to another position due to operational needs".

No sooner had the passions subsided because of these incidents, as a new scandal began at school. As our parents told us, in one of the buildings of the school they decided to make a second shift of education. However, it turned out that a wheelchair-bound child is studying in this building. This is unacceptable for children with disabilities in Sanpins. As a result, the disabled child was redirected to another building of the school, where it will be necessary to get there by transport. There is also no lift in this building. As activists from among the parental community report, “there are many such disabled children in our residential complex”.

Inclusive education began to take root in Russia relatively recently. Inclusion is when all children, regardless of their physical, mental and intellectual abilities, study in the same class with their peers. The main goal is to provide equal opportunities for all children in their schooling. Before that, there were correctional classes in schools with specially trained and trained teachers. Now such classes have been abolished, and all "special" children are divided into regular classes.

Providing equal opportunities for all is a noble goal. A person should not be infringed on his rights because he has health problems. But the question arises: is inclusive education now effectively organized in relation to the current Russian realities?

Let us recall the principles of inclusive education: all “special” children have the right to study in a regular school in a common class with their peers; all children ("special" and "ordinary") study in the classroom at the same time; a tutor should be assigned to help the teacher (tutor, translated from English means "mentor"); also, the school must have a staff of appropriate specialists capable of helping children. These are speech therapists, psychologists, defectologists. On paper, everything seems to be good. But in reality...

In social networks, the opinion of a teacher is given, who gave the school 50 years, of which 11 she taught in correctional classes. As it turned out, she has a sharply negative attitude towards inclusion:

“First of all, everything depends on the“ special ”children. As a rule, there is no difficulty in educating those who have physical health problems, but the vast majority of "special" are those who have mental or intellectual problems. And finding such students in a regular class is an extremely risky business. First, their behavior is often very different from that of their peers, and this can lead to both bullying of "special" children and terror against "ordinary" ones. As a result, the "special" are still detached from the rest of the children's collective, they do not become part of it. “Special” students provide a bad example of classroom behavior and change for ordinary children. During the lesson, the boy Kolya shouts, jumps, “blows bubbles”, but at the same time he is “the same as everyone else”. So why should he be allowed, but not me? The behavior of the “special” often makes it difficult for the teacher to lead the lesson, who needs to follow the whole class. It is difficult for "special" children to keep up with the school curriculum, as a result, the teacher needs to prepare something separate for them".

Of course, supporters of inclusion can intervene and say that a tutor and a psychologist should be assigned to help the teacher. And here we come to the main problem. “Take, for example, one of my two schools: the only one in the regional center, about 250 students (30 years ago it was over 800). Severe shortage of teachers. The school has about two dozen students with mental problems, smeared with a thin layer on all classes of the school. The question is: where to find tutors and psychologists for all these children, if there is simply not enough simple teachers? As for children with physical problems, there are no specialists for them either. And not only speech therapists and defectologists, there are no ordinary doctors in rural areas. As a result, the teacher alone has to keep up with ordinary children and ask the "special" something. Of course, the teacher does not have time to do either the first or the second qualitatively. All the students in the class are already suffering from this”, the user writes in his blog Starting all over again.

Irina Ulyanova: “Oh, this is my pain. I work in the mathematics lyceum, in the elementary grades. Children are strong, motivated, and ready to study mathematics 24 hours a day. The classes are large - 30-32 children. I have already been warned that a mother with a child with cerebral palsy and complex mental underdevelopment is eager to see me. To all our timid arguments that the other children will not receive the knowledge they are coming from all over the city for, that we have no conditions to feed such a child, take him to the toilet and entertain him in physical education, there is only one argument: “I have the right, otherwise I am writing a complaint". No persuasion that a child needs a defectologist and speech therapist has no impact".

Maria Nikishova: “I will now cause a sea of indignation and censure, but I am against such a practice. Let me explain with my own example: my daughter is in the 8th grade, she studied quite well, until this year a boy with an EE came to their class (mental retardation, illness - ed .). As a result, the lessons were disrupted, poor teachers are forced to calm down this "special" instead of teaching children. He can take off his pants in class, puberty has begun, sticks to girls, pinches them, can break into the toilet. Academic performance in the exact sciences has dropped very noticeably. Accordingly, tutors are needed. Question: why should I pay for this? Why are the rights of my daughter and other normal children infringed upon? They come to study, not watch this whole zoo. I feel very sorry for the teachers who were put in these conditions".

Nick Man: “As a result, the whole class does not receive high-quality knowledge... Plus, almost all students suffer moral, and sometimes physical, trauma. And it turns out that the game of such tolerance causes irreparable harm to society".

It turns out that children with disabilities sometimes have more privileges and protectors than all other children. Take, for example, the opportunity provided by the state to enter a university without entrance exams. We do not argue that there may be gifted people among the disabled. But after receiving this very higher education, will they all work for the good of society with the same dedication as healthy people? Hardly. But the fact that people with disabilities occupy a certain part of budgetary places in any university is a fact.

Some time ago, our editorial office received an appeal from the RPO for helping children with ASD "Contact" with a request to "place an appeal from the Moscow NGO to the Moscow Government." The appeal cited arguments in favor of increasing funding for educational programs for children with disabilities. We tried to contact the author of the appeal, the executive director of the regional public organization for helping children with ASD "Contact" Yelena Bagaradnikova. They called and introduced themselves. Elena Vyacheslavovna said that no response was received to the appeal to the Moscow government to increase the funding ratios for children with special needs. When I tried to present the arguments of children and parents who are against teaching in the same class with children with "developmental disabilities", suddenly a storm of indignation fell upon me. Ms. Bagaradnikova flatly refused to listen to any arguments. “Girl, I don’t even want to discuss it!” The executive director of a public organization told a journalist with more than 40 years of experience. And Lidia Moniava, the development director of the House with a Lighthouse fund , refused to talk to the editors at all, cutting off firmly: “Contact our press service, I personally don’t comment!”. The answer is quite worthy of a federal official. True, even the ministers and governors are personally responsible for “NO”, unlike our respected social activists and benefactors, who, to all appearances, have turned into a kind of closed community, incapable of constructive dialogue.

But the problem of inclusive education is multifaceted, it requires flexibility, taking into account all points of view. Are our social activists capable of this? Judging by the information on the website of the Regional Public Education Organization, Aid to Children with ASD "Contact", Yelena Bagaradnikova is the mother of a child with autism. Almost all the other members of the Contact Council, who defend the rights of children with disabilities, are parents of children with autism, with “special needs”, with Asperger's syndrome... The courage and determination of such parents in defending the interests of their children can hardly be overestimated. But are they able to understand and perceive all the arguments of the opposite side? One gets the feeling that hardly. But it cannot be ruled out that combining "children with disabilities" with healthy children can potentially provoke a tragedy similar to the one that recently happened in a school in Kazan.

And here the question inevitably arises of home-based education for children with disabilities and children with special needs. Although the budgetary funding for the education of a disabled child is an order of magnitude higher than the budgetary funds for the education of all other children, this money in reality is not always useful. And not always felt. Not so long ago, a heartbreaking post about the story of Irina S. and her son Dima from Nizhny Novgorod got thousands of views on the Facebook social network.

A disabled child who was homeschooled was forced to change his place of residence with his mother, as the family broke up, the father left the family. Dima studied according to an individual program. In the new 49th school, Dima was also homeschooled, only no individual adapted program was developed for him. At first, the school gave out standard textbooks, and when it became clear that the child was not doing well, they decided that there was no trial and there was no trial. The teacher enjoyed drinking tea with her mother, had small talk, did not ask homework and did not give the boy grades. As a result, the child was not certified and stayed for the second year. His mother, Irina S., repeatedly appealed to the director of the school, asked and demanded to create normal conditions for the child for study, referred to the laws of the Russian Federation. As a result, the frustrated headmaster found the easiest way to solve the problem - she set the guardianship against the family. Soon the head of the administration of the Sovetsky district of Nizhny Novgorod signed a document on the basis of which the child was taken from the family and placed in the Lastochka rehabilitation center. A disabled home child, despite his crying and screaming, was rudely torn from his mother and taken away. In the boarding school, the boy went through all the circles of hell, including surviving an attempt at rape by older children. Dima was returned to his mother only after the intervention of the Ombudsman Anna Kuznetsova. But the boy was returned to the same 49th school, which initiated his weaning from his mother. And again they refused to develop an individual program...

Why is all this happening? “NI” asked the directors of leading Moscow schools for comments to tell them about their personal experience in solving the problems of inclusive education.

“I will not give an assessment, I will give only facts. Today in Moscow there is not a single school that does not have an accessible environment system. Education of disabled children is carried out with increased budgetary per capita financing. Increasing coefficient in the region of 2, 5 -3. Disabled children with intact intelligence learn together with everyone. Those who cannot - go to home education. In this case, teachers come to the child's house and study with him. In Moscow, at least, there are no difficulties with this. At school we approach each case individually. For some children with disabilities, life in a regular classroom is not possible, and we provide home-based education. If the child does not cope with the program, he is placed in a specialized institution. In general, this is not a mechanical system, the approach in each case is strictly individual”, - said Yefim Rachevsky, director of the educational complex“ School №548 “Tsaritsyno”.

“I am in charge of a project for teaching sick children in Moscow. We are organizing the educational process in hospitals, in particular, in the Dima Rogachev Center, where there are very sick children, sometimes hopeless ones. Now the Moscow mayor's office has allocated additional funding for this project, as new funds and new equipment are needed. The process is now in full swing", - the director of the educational complex School No. 109 Evgeniy Yamburg told us.

Famous enthusiastic teachers, for whom school is a lifework, the learning process for both healthy and sick children is equally well established. And, apparently, it is correct that it is precisely such people who are now entrusted with overseeing inclusive education. I would like to hope that in the regions there will be teachers of the same level of interest who, in the end, will find a sensible solution to the issue of inclusive education. Hope again for enthusiasts.