Today the Armenian State Pedagogical University after Khachatur Abovyan hosted an international conference "Higher Pedagogical Education Reforms in the context of inclusiveness", which was attended by the Minister of Education and Science Levon Mkrtchyan, representatives of the relating committees from the National Assembly, the UN children's Fund (UNICEF), US Embassy, universities, schools implementing inclusive education, rehabilitation centers, representatives of NGOs, as well as experts from the universities of Minnesota and Concordia.
Minister welcomed the participants of the conference and stressed the importance of holding such kind of events on inclusive education and thanked for the immense work in the context of inclusiveness done withinin the last ten years. "Today this hall hosted people with whom we started this process years ago, and I remember great resistance to the inclusion of children with special needs in the educational system. We have come a long and serious way, and now we have probably one of the most tolerant society in the CIS countries. This result can be sonsidered successful at least in the educational system", said L. Mkrtchyan, greeting espessially the US counterparts because, according to him, the best understanding of the ideology of inclusiveness he met in the United States to meet, consequently the experience of American colleagues in this regard would be useful.
"The idea of inclusiveness is important not only for children with special educational needs, but also as a way of demontrating respect and tolerencea towards any minority tolerance any type of minority in the society. Today we have a lot of problems connected with the inclusion in our country. For example, the integration of Syrian children in our state schools in terms of their inner world and the way of thinking or the main issues regarding women. Besides, ensuring favorable conditions for progressive development of talented children is another form of inclusiveness. So, if we consider the inclusiveness as a way of thinking of the society,then we can also bring a qualitative change in the mindset of our society, "mentioned Levon Mkrtchyan, adding that currently the Ministry is undergoing an extended process.
"We are trying to radically change the format of the special education by making a transition to the medical -psychological centers. We should be able to gradually, through structural changes integrate inclusiveness into the higher education system as well and to ensure equal conditions for everyone’’, highlithed the Minister at the end of his speech and thanked the international partners once again, without whom the program would not have a success.
The role of the Pedagogical university in the sphere of inclusive education reforms was discussed in the conference, also announcing the launch of cooperation between the Department of Special Education of ASPU and the University of Minnesota.