20090829 Education of Children With Disabilities in Azerbaijan

20090829 Education of Children with Disabilities in Azerbaijan:
Barriers and Opportunities

The public education system of the Republic of Azerbaijan was built on the Soviet science of “defectology,” and usually associated with the education of children with disabilities (CWD) in special schools and home schools, separated from other children. Thus, the majority of the currently available government-provided educational systems facilitate isolation and segregation of CWD from their peers and the society at large. Additionally, educational facilities for CWD are not widely available across Azerbaijan, not fully accessible, and not proactive in locating and involving the CWD in education.
This article explores the level of educational provision for CWD in Azerbaijan from the perspective of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). It looks at policies, resources and practices, the extent that the national legislation, regulations and educational policy provide opportunities for social inclusion and mainstream education for CWD. It provides recommendations to strengthen the capacity of the government and other partners in Azerbaijan to bring about policy reforms, ensure adequate resource allocation, and promote programming that supports inclusive education.
This article is based on the 2008 study initiated by UNICEF and implemented by the Centre for Innovations in Education (CIE), a local Azeri non-governmental organization (NGO).