Tohum Autism Foundation: Policy And Implementation Proposals For Enhancing The Effectiveness Of Mainstream Education
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Project Summary

Grantee: Tohum Autism Foundation       

Purpose: Creating a Best Practice model in the area of mainstreamed education 

Location: Istanbul/Turkey           

Grant: 260.000 TL  

Partner: Sabancı University Education Reform Initiative (ERG)

Period: 15 April 2010 - 15 October 2011

 

Background

In order to provide services that benefit the individual development of children with disabilities, they should go to school with their peers. There are more than 70 thousand kids that take part in the mainstream education system in Turkey. Yet there are 15 million registered kids in primary and secondary education system and the number of children with disabilities is below 1%. According to this data, only one out of four disabled kids can go to school and they have very limited access to education services. (TOHUM, 2009)

 

Project Goals

  • In 3 pilot schools in Istanbul:
  • 150 primary school teachers will be trained for 6 days regarding “in class mainstreaming”.
  • 30 teachers will receive counseling and guidance services in their own classes.
  • 3000 student, parents and teachers will attend awareness raising seminars in the schools.
  • A model for Mainstreaming Education will be prepared and disseminated among 400 institutions.
  • Best practices on mainstreaming form the world, the baseline analysis for Turkey and outcomes of the pilot implementation report will be presented to the Ministry of Education.

 

Project Results

  • Support Model for Mainstream Education were applied in selected 3 pilot schools. During the implementation following activities were organized:
    • 140 teachers from 3 pilot schools attended 5 day long Training Seminars on Mainstream Education.
    • 10 teachers selected among the 140 teachers, visited Tohum Autism Schools for Hands on Training.
    • 2 day training sessions were organized for counselors from 3 schools.
    • 30 teachers received in class special education consultancy. Following consultancy services, site visits, meetings with counselors and supervision meetings were organized.
    • 3750 parents and students gathered in school festivals and 150 parents attended awareness raising seminars on mainstream education.
    • Empathy exercises were planned for students in three schools, so that they could understand their peers with disabilities better.
  • The following reports were prepared to advocate and lobby mainstream education in meetings with Ministry of Education:
    • Support Model Guidelines for Teachers
    • Current Situation of Mainstream Education services in Turkey
    • Best practices on mainstreaming Education form Turkey and the World
    • Mainstream Education in Turkey: Policy analysis and Suggestions Report
  • Government level meetings in Ankara were organized with decision makers.

     

Testimonials

“I am bringing my child to school every day. There is no disabled kid in my daughter’s classroom; however I learned that there are 10 kids with disabilities in the school. That is a big number, I felt ashamed. Through the awareness raising seminars I learned that persons with disabilities have priorities at the hospitals. We should all be aware of that kind of rights.”

Parent of a Student


“My son is in 3rd grade and he does not have any disabled peers in his classroom. But I have a relative; my nephew has a physical disability. I don’t think his family is aware of the fact that they can get financial government support for him.  I will inform them about their rights, because I know that they have financial problems”.

Parent of a Student

 

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