28 Mar Public Council under the Ministry of Public Education of Uzbekistan
Last time I mentioned that the Deputy Minister of Public Education, Mr Usman Sharifkhodjaev, invited me to become a member of the Public Council under the Ministry. On 23 March, I finally received a letter of invitation from the MPE to become a member of the newly created Public Council established based on the President’s resolution “On measures for organising the activities of public councils under state bodies”. By creating this Public Council, MPE aims to increase the reforms’ effectiveness and improve the quality of public education. It also allows the Ministry to be more transparent through a social partnership with the local NGOs, civil society institutions, business people, etc.
Unfortunately, there is still no organisation of parents of disabled children in Uzbekistan, and the disability community suggested including one of such parents to raise the voices of their children. Therefore, Vasila Kadirova – a single mother of a girl with autism living in Tashkent, was also invited to the Public Council. Together with her, we took part in the first meeting of the Council on 26 March via Zoom. I raised the issues of inclusive education and the need to consult with disabled people’s organisations and parents’ self-help groups to effectively implement the adopted Concept of development of inclusive education in Uzbekistan in 2020-2025.
As a result, we agreed to define several feasible tasks and to move towards them. The Minister, Mr Sherzod Shermatov, expressed his willingness to meet with several NGOs working in the field of disability in Uzbekistan. Shortly, we are planning to organise a joint meeting between the Ministry and the Association of Disabled People of Uzbekistan which currently united about 27 NGO for/of disabled people throughout the country. I really hope that our membership in the MPE’s Public Council will be productive (not tokenistic!) and the voices of many disabled children and their parents/carers will be heard…
P.S. I really liked the suggestions of one of the Public Council members to include children themselves as equal members. Indeed, I think it was a brilliant suggestion as children’s voices, interests, and expectations should also count in the decision-making processes at the top level.