OREANDA-NEWS. August 13, 2013. Children with disabilities can be successfully integrated into mainstream education and supported in achieving better learning outcomes, through provision of equal educational opportunities. A USD2.86 million grant, funded by the Government of Japan and administered by the World Bank, was officially signed t between the World Bank and the GoM representatives: Mr. Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus, and Mr. Boris Popadiuc, director of Moldova Social Investment Fund (MSIF).

The non-reimbursable USD 2.86 million grant aims to demonstrate that the inclusion of children with disabilities into mainstream education can be successfully achieved through adequate planning, infrastructure investments, teacher training and community awareness and mobilization.

”We are extremely pleased to partner with the Government of Japan in administering a grant that can truly touch the lives of many children with disabilities in this country”, said Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus. ”We hope that understanding these children’s needs, bringing educators, parents, communities and local authorities together in helping them benefit from a better education can serve as models of inclusiveness that can be replicated across Moldova.”

The World-Bank administered grant, which will be implemented through MSIF, will aim to address the following constraints related to the integration of children with disabilities into mainstream education. Firstly, the funds will be used to help district authorities in designing and rolling out the National Program for the Development of Inclusive Education, including support in assessing the number of children with disabilities, addressing school infrastructure needs and adequate teacher training. Secondly, a focus will be placed on carrying out around 20 demonstration sub-projects aimed at rehabilitation and refurbishment of school facilities to meet the needs of children with disabilities, in addition to provision of relevant training for parents, teachers and the community. Thirdly, support will be channeled toward dissemination of experiences and good practices to encourage national replication of successful practices concerning the integration of children with disabilities into mainstream schools.

Since Moldova joined the World Bank in 1992, a total of USD 910 million have been allocated to 45 operations in the country. Currently, the World Bank portfolio includes 11 active projects with total commitments of USD 256 million. Areas of support include education, social assistance, e-governance, healthcare, water and sanitation, agriculture, business development, and others.