Index for Inclusion
Index for Inclusion is an instrument to promote real and practical inclusion through public schools by using own resources
Aidana has severe cerebral palsy. She could have gone to school but the schools are not ready and not willing to accept for many reasons. Aidana has been attending a local day care centre Child's Dream which we have provided support to.
What problem does your idea solve?
Kyrgyzstan has roughly 20,000 children with disabilities that do not have access to education. Few thousands have special education in special school or residential institutions. Even in those schools children are not taught and prepared to integrate into society. The Ministry of Education has been implementing several inclusive education projects but with no visible success so far. They got interested in the Index for Inclusion and there is a genuine interest in the Index.
Explain your idea
Two years ago Kelechek Plus NGO had implemented for a year the Index for Inclusion tool that helps public schools to create inclusive environment by involving in planning and execution teachers, students, administration, and parents. The tool was developed by UK professors and now translated and implemented in over 40 countries around the world. This tool is like a manual that guides school step by step through several phases which is similar to project cycle. It helps participants do needs assessment, prioritize their problems, plan how to solve them and work on their implementation. The Index for Inclusion is done together with school planning and is very simple to follow and implement.
Index for Inclusion is a tool for integrating and socializing children with disabilities through public schools.
The project will help such children as Asan. He is 7, has cerebral palsy. Asan is a clever boy, can speak, count, knows the alphabet. But he does not go to school because of his disability. Asan does not have friends. He really wants to go to school.
There is support for Index for Inclusion. Kelechek Plus has got formal support from or concluded Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Education to implement the Index for Inclusion in pilot 7-10 schools with kids with disabilities identified nearby. Schools are chosen among those who are willing to participate and implement the Index. They are mainly in the capital and in nearby communities so that Kelechek Plus team has quick access and stay in regular contact with kids and schools.
Kelechek Plus forms a working group in each school and then conducts training for administration, teachers parents and students on how to use and implement the Index. We also train and work with parents of Asan. Identifying problems including those related to our Asan and prioritizing phase kicks off.
Asan goes to school the same or at least the next academic year. The school is using the Index for Inclusion and integrated some priorities into its usual school plan. When Asan comes to school there is a welcoming atmosphere at the school. Teachers, parents, and students are supportive towards Asan and other children with disabilities.
Asan has some challenges but he is a good student. he has many friends at school. The school with support from the Ministry, administration, teachers, students and parents, as well as the local community, is getting more inclusive towards all children. More and more vulnerable and disabled children are going to schools. And many more schools are willing to try or adopt the Index for Inclusion. The Ministry recommends to all schools to try out the Index for Inclusion.
Direct beneficiaries - around 100 children aged 5-10 who will go to preschools/schools. Anastasia (in the photo) is one of them. She's 7 yo beautiful girl with cerebral palsy who cannot walk and sit but speaks and understands. She wants to go to school and the project will support her.
Indirect beneficiaries - several hundreds of children who already go to public schools, and around 2-5 thousands of children who are able to go to school and whose parents will hear about the project.
How is your idea unique?
The Index for Inclusion was only implemented by Kelechek Plus in two local schools during 2014-2015 and we received positive feedback from teachers and students including those with disabilities. It was a one-year project supported by the Soros Foundation- Kyrgyzstan.
Tell us more about you
Kelechek Plus is a small local NGO that has been working since 2008 on capacity building of NGOs of parents of children with disabilities in Kyrgyzstan. We are one of the few NGOs that work towards promoting inclusive education in the country.
We currently work along 2 lines:
- promoting inclusive education,
- capacity-building of parent-led initiatives, groups and NGOs.
There are 5 regular members of staff and several others are added if necessary for projects implementation.
What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea?
Will the Ministry of Education go further than several schools? How do we deal with teachers and parents who oftentimes are the first barriers to inclusion?
Where will your idea be implemented?
Experience in Implementation Country(ies)
Yes, for more than one year.
Expertise in Sector
I've worked in a sector related to my idea for more than a year.
We are a registered non-profit, charity, NGO, or community-based organization.
Piloting: I have started to implement my solution as a whole with a first set of real users.
How has your idea changed based on feedback?
After initial submission of the idea we have had several meetings with Kelechek's team, parents of children with disabilities, teachers, Ministry's officials (two of them), and talked to representatives of several international organizations - Soros Foundation Kyrgyzstan (which funded the first pilot in 2014-2015), Eurasia Foundation (EF) in Central Asia and World Bank's (WB) project on preschool education. Our team, parents, and teachers worked out the idea (see some drawings), whereas the Soros, EF and WB have expressed their interest and we are planning to have additional meetings to discuss how we can cooperate within the new project supported by OpenIdeo. One of the options we can work with schools they have already been supporting (but none have Index), another is we can share resources, experience, and skills to jointly promote inclusive education.
We have already made several presentations to the Soros, Ministry of Education and the WB; the latter is willing to learn more.
Who will implement this idea?
Kelechek Plus will implement the project in partnership with the Ministry of Education and/or city education department and will work with Nazik Kyz NGO (empower young disabled and change attitude), Soros, EF and WB (share resources, expertise) as well as with local parent-led NGOs whose children with disabilities go or want to go to school. They will be involved in relevant activities. Partners' main offices are located in Bishkek. There will be 5-10 full/part-time staff and experts involved.
Using a human-centered design approach, you may uncover insights that lead to small or foundational changes to your organization’s existing strategy or processes in order to unlock the potential of your idea. How would your organization go about making such changes?
In big strategic decisions we usually involve Kelechek Plus' team members, some of them are parents, and may invite experts/trainers (such as for strategic planning or fundraising planning). We usually consider everyone's opinion and come to the consensus as we base our decision-making on equal-to-equal participatory approach. However, despite the fact we have parents of disabled kids as members of our team and try our best to consider them in our decisions and when designing projects we often overlook them. The User experience mapping exercise was very useful as we finally saw and put the child into the picture whereas before these were wordings. For next big decisions re Kelechek Plus and people as well as for project design, we'll use the User experience map for clarification.
What is it that most attracted you to Amplify instead of a more traditional funding model?
We have never heard of Amplify and the Challenge before so to be honest when done with open submission (which was a pleasant surprise to us), we then expected to have something complex and behind-the-doors 'politics'. So far we love this transparent process (even though only two people know English and just one can communicate - but we see the pictures :) of every step we go forward. We'd love to have this kind process done one day in Kyrgyzstan where donors guard their secrets.
What challenges do your end-users face? (1) What is the biggest challenge that your end-users face on a day-to-day, individual level? (2) What is the biggest systems-level challenge that affects your end-users?
1) Our boys and girls with disabilities' inability to go to the world, have fun and make friends. They say about and want simple things. Grown-up children are aware of their limitations but they often repeat what their close relatives say to them. So there are many barriers but among them are their parents (often are not aware of that), followed by societal attitude and stereotypes, inaccessible physical environment. If children with disabilities go to school, they often miss and drop out of schools and nobody cares, so many do not get certificates.
2) In terms of education, these are the societal stereotypes of administration, teachers, students and their parents, as well as methodology/curriculum and resources (books). There is a law but it lacks clear realization mechanisms and funding
Tell us about your vision for this project: (1) share one sentence about the impact you would like to see from this project in five years and (2) what is the biggest question you need to answer to get there?
1) By 2021 we aim to have about 10,000 children with disabilities mainstreamed in all kindergartens and public schools of Kyrgyzstan through adopting new law, new or additional special curriculum, new methodology including Index for Inclusion and getting necessary resources.
2) How do we challenge and change societal attitude and stereotypes that are one of them main obstacles to inclusion?
How long have you and your colleagues been working on this idea together?
Between 6 months and 1 year
How many of your team’s paid, full-time staff are currently based in the location where the beneficiaries of your proposed idea live?
Between 5-10 paid, full-time staff
Is your organization registered in the country you intend to implement your idea in?
We are registered in all countries where we plan to implement.
My organization's operational budget for 2016 was:
Between $50,000 and $100,000 USD
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