Armenian NGO receives UNESCO prize for inclusive education work

Every two years, the Director-General of UNESCO awards the Emir Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah Prize to two individuals or organizations that have contributed to the promotion of inclusive quality education for persons with intellectual disabilities. The NGO Bridge of Hope received the award this year for their support of inclusive education in Armenia.

Armenia adopted the Law on the Education of Persons with Special Education Needs in 2005 and ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2010. The Ministry of Education and Science has shown a significant commitment to supporting the inclusion of children with disabilities in the mainstream education system. However, children with intellectual disabilities are often among the last to gain entry. Even in a middle income country like Armenia, resources for education are stretched thin and the system of special schools is deeply entrenched. According to a report released last year by OSIAF Armenia, 70% of children with disabilities living in orphanages do not go to any school at all and 19% of parents of children with special education needs reported insufficient conditions and the low quality of education as the main reasons why their children are excluded from mainstream schools.


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