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The Minister of Education and Science of Georgia held a meeting with the Deputy Secretary of the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, where the sides summarized the ongoing developments in the field of vocational education.
The Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia has been collaborating with the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research since 2006 in the fields of education and the inclusive education. Since 2013, with the support of the Norwegian partners, inclusive education was introduced at schools, as well as implementing the vocational education in the educational system.
During the business meeting, the sides discussed the ongoing processes in the Georgian inclusive education, its achievements and challenges, in conjunction with outlining future plans and the issue of sustainability.
Since the Fall admissions in 2013, a total of 510 individuals with special educational needs (SEN) have been enrolled in the vocational educational insitutions. Moreover, special services and a variery of material resources are provided for the SEN students to ameliorate their learning environment; including 20 inclusive education specialists and assistants, who provide a tailored approach towards the educational process itself. In order to improve the learning process for the SEN students, there are a number of specialists involved, such as: sign language interpreters for the hearing impaired, and the mobility and orientation trainers for the visually impraired individuals. Moreover, a special training agents are hired in order to provide mobility and transportation to the students who have severe physical disabilities.
The monitoring of the inclusive vocational education process is carried out by the Ministry of Education and Science, who created a multidisciplined team consisting of five member, in order to ensure the smooth performance of inclusive education with no obstacles.
Within the scope of the project, an innovation concept was implemented, where a number of infrastrcutr projects are planned to be executed. For instance, two vocational institutions are being adapted to the universal designs, whereas three more are planned to be rehabilitated.
With the involvement of the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, negotiations have started with the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Affairs and the Social Service Agency, in order to create the employment opportunities for the individuals with special educational needs and disabilities. In 2016, the Social Service Agency employed consultants, translated the European Unions supportive handbooks and job descriptions. The Ministry of Education and Science provides methodological support for the development of the employment services for the persons with disabilities and special educational needs.
For the quality assurance of the inclusive vocational educational, teacher’s training is carried out, in order to enhance their competence and the quality of professionalism, which is of crucial significance when providing education to the SEN students.
The process of introduction inclusive vocational education has been assessed positively by the Norwegian delegation. It was noted that Georgia has taken some very important steps to ensure the priorities for the SEN students in the coming years. In addition, more resources should be exploited in order to increase the quality of inclusive education in the country.