Schools in Tbilisi start involving Children with Special Needs in sport and physical development
Wednesday, June 6One hundred children with special educational needs have been fully integrated in the physical development and sports lessons in the five public schools in Tbilisi. – This is a key result of the pilot initiative that was presented at a Conference on Inclusion of the Children with Special Educational Needs in Physical Development and Sport. The conference was organized by the Ministry of Education and Science with the support of UNICEF and involved representatives of the Government, NGOs as well as Tbilisi public schools.
With UNICEF’s technical and financial support, the Ministry of Education and Science implemented the pilot project “Inclusion of the Children with Special Educational Needs in Physical Development and Sport” during the scholastic year 2011-12. The objective of the project was to enable fulfillment of child’s rights to optimal development and play.
“Children with disabilities and other special needs are, first and foremost, children. They have the same rights as all children do including the right to optimal development ”, said Nada Marasovic, UNICEF’s Deputy Representative. ”UNICEF commends the efforts of the Ministry of Education and Science to create opportunities for children with disabilities and other special needs in schools to better protect and realize children’s rights to education, optimal development and play. As with all children, children with disabilities and other special needs need access to all the resources that allow them to grow, thrive and make a healthy transition to adulthood.”
Within the framework of the project the teachers including specialized teachers as well as psychologists of all five schools were equipped with knowledge and skills to work with and for children with special needs. The parents of children were actively involved in all processes and all five pilot schools were provided with special sports equipment. To enable successful implementation of the pilot project, the training modules and small vocabularies with special terms for physical education teachers and various information brochures and posters have been produced. Based on the national curriculum, the individual learning plans were elaborated for each child with special educational needs envisaging the individual needs and capabilities. Inclusion of these children in the sports lessons has been going on and will continue in accordance with the individual plans. Project’s achievements and lessons learned guided the development of the recommendations for physical education teachers so that inclusive physical education for children with special needs could be implemented in all schools.