In Uzbekistan, there are several types of institutions for the upbringing and supporting children in need of social protection. 560 children are brought up in 13 children’s homes, 1,823 children in 16 mercy houses and 4 children’s towns, 21 thousand boys and girls in 86 special boarding schools. 79 thousand children are being brought up under guardianship and family patronage.
The state of affairs in upbringing and education, providing housing and work for graduates of these institutions was analyzed at the meeting.
It was noted that over the past ten years, 51 percent were provided with housing. 64 percent of graduates of mercy houses and children’s towns were employed. Poor quality of education in these institutions was indicated.
The Head of the state emphasized the need for upbringing children in mercy houses in conditions close to family conditions, as educated, highly spiritual and patriotic individuals.
For this purpose, it is planned to introduce a new system. Thus, the National Guard of the Republic of Uzbekistan will be responsible for raising children in 16 mercy houses and 4 children’s towns. For this, the position of the corresponding deputy commander will be introduced and a separate department will be created.
New methods will be developed for raising children in mercy houses, teaching them information technologies, foreign languages, professions and entrepreneurship, organizing sports. Boys and girls over 14 years old will be trained in the most demanded professions.
The Ministry of Higher and Secondary Special Education and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports were instructed to assign universities and sports schools to each mercy house and children’s town. They organize scientific and sports trainings, the teachers attracted to them will receive salary increments.
The Presidential Administration, the Cabinet of Ministers and regional hokimiyats will be responsible for mercy houses, which are in serious condition.
17 percent of children of mercy houses are orphans, 83 percent are children abandoned by their parents or close relatives. It was noted that most of the children could be returned to their families if financial assistance was provided to them.
79 thousand children are registered with the guardianship authorities, 35 thousand of them are adopted. However, only one employee is assigned to work with them in each district and city department of public education.
It was noted that this is not enough, and it was decided to create in each district and city hokimiyats departments for guardianship and patronage with 4 staff units in each.
Working groups will be formed from representatives of the National Guard, preschool education authorities, public education, mahallas and other sectors. They will be entrusted with the task of visiting and studying the living conditions of children under guardianship and patronage weekly.
1.2 million UZS will be paid from the local budget for children under guardianship and patronage until they reach the age of 18 and 2.5 million UZS from the republican budget for children with disabilities. For families raising adopted children with disabilities, the period of caring for them will be included in the work experience.
Starting September 1, the amount of the allowance for such families will be determined based on the number of children in the family. At the same time, the age of children subject to the allocation of benefits will be increased from 14 to 18 years and the payment period – from 6 to 12 months.
In addition, children from families included in the “iron notebook”, as well as children who have lost their breadwinner, and children with disabilities will receive 500 thousand UZS each to prepare for school.
Children under guardianship and patronage will also receive the right to use the additional quota for admission to universities established for graduates of mercy houses.
The President gave instructions to further expand state support for graduates of mercy houses.
New housing will be allocated free of charge to orphans over 18 years of age in need of housing. For these purposes, 120 billion UZS will be allocated from the budget this year.
Another innovation is a 50 percent increase in the size of scholarships for talented students who are orphans or have lost parental care. The term of payment of pensions to such students will be increased from the current 18 to 23 years. They will receive a one-time subsidy of 1.2 million UZS annually for the purchase of the necessary literature.
Issues of supporting and treating children with disabilities were also discussed at the meeting. The Head of the state instructed to allocate additional funds to provide such children with necessary medical equipment and wheelchairs, perform surgical operations, install implants and prostheses.
The possibility of improving conditions in special schools by assigning large enterprises and clusters to them was also indicated.
It was determined that the National Commission for Children will be formed instead of commissions for working with minors, the territorial commissions will be headed by the hokims of the regions.
“Supporting children deprived of parental care, children with disabilities, raising them as active members of society require serious attention and practical action from all of us. No child should regret that he is an orphan or has a disability, should not be left without the attention of the state and society. To train them in modern professions, to create all the conditions is not only a task, but also a sacred duty. If we approach the issue from this point of view, then our work will certainly have results. Every good deed done to our children will be rewarded tenfold”, Shavkat Mirziyoyev said.
Responsible persons, teachers and youth expressed their views on the issues that were discussed at the meeting.