On July 28, a videoconference chaired by the President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on increasing the state support for children with disabilities, orphans and children deprived of parental care, as well as improving the system of social security benefits was held.
In our country, there are several types of institutions for the upbringing and support of children in need of social protection. Therefore, 560 children are brought up in 13 Children’s Houses, 1,823 children – in 16 Mercy Houses and in 4 Сhildren Towns, 21 thousand boys and girls – in 86 Specialized Boarding Schools. In addition, 79 thousand children are being brought up under custody, guardianship and family patronage.
The meeting analyzed the state of affairs in matters of upbringing and education, providing housing and work for graduates of these institutions.
It was noted that over the past ten years, 51% graduates from Mercy Houses and Children Towns were provided with housing, 64% were employed. The poor quality of education in these institutions was indicated.
The President has emphasized the need to bring up children in Mercy Houses in conditions close to family, as educated, highly spiritual and patriotic individuals.
To this end, 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 Сhildren Towns. To achieve this, the position of the corresponding Deputy Commander will be introduced and a separate department will be established.
The new methods will be developed for raising children in Mercy Houses, teaching them information technologies, foreign languages, professions and entrepreneurship, organizing sports activities. Boys and girls over 14 years old will be trained in the most in-demand professions.
The Ministry of Higher and Secondary-Specialized Education and the Ministry of Tourism and Sport were instructed to assign universities and sports schools to each Mercy Houses and Children Towns. They organize scientific and sports clubs, the teachers involved in them will receive salary increments.
Moreover, the Mercy Houses, which are in a bad condition, will be assigned to the Administration of the President, the Cabinet of Ministers and regional khokimiyats (governor’s and mayor’s offices).
Today, 17% of the inmates of Mercy Houses are orphans, 83% are children abandoned by their parents or close relatives. It was emphasized that most of the children could be returned to their families if financial assistance was provided to them.
Seventy nine thousand children are registered with the custody and guardianship bodies, 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 decided to create the departments for custody, guardianship and patronage with 4 staff units in each district and city khokimiyat.
In addition, the working groups will be formed from representatives of the National Guard, preschool education authorities, public education, makhallas (local community residential areas) and sectors. They will be entrusted with the task of visiting and studying the living conditions of children under custody, guardianship and patronage on a weekly basis.
For children under custody, guardianship and patronage, until reaching the age of 18, 1.2 million Uzbek soums will be paid from the local budget, and for the children with disabilities – 2.5 million Uzbek soums from the national budget. For families raising adopted children with disabilities, the period of caring for them will be included in the work experience.
From 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 book», as well as children who have lost their breadwinner, and children with disabilities will receive 500 thousand Uzbek soums each for school preparation.
The children under custody, guardianship and patronage will also receive the right to use the additional quota for admission to universities established for the graduates of Mercy Houses.
The President gave instructions to further increase the state support for the graduates of Mercy Houses.
In particular, the new housing will be allocated free of charge to orphans over 18 years of age in need of housing. For these purposes, this year, 120 billion Uzbek soums will be allocated from the budget.
Another innovation is a 50% increase in scholarships for talented students who are orphans or have lost parental care. In addition, 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 Uzbek soums annually for the purchase of the necessary literature.
The meeting also discussed the issues of support and medical treatment of children with disabilities. The President instructed to allocate the additional funds to provide such children with the necessary medical equipment and wheelchairs, perform surgical operations, install implants and prostheses.
It also indicated the possibility of improving the conditions in special schools by assigning large enterprises and clusters to them.
It has been determined that instead of Commissions on Work with Juniors, the National Commission for Children will be formed, and the territorial commissions will be headed by the khokims (governors and mayors) of the regions.
«Supporting the 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 or she is an orphan or has a disability, should not be left without the attention of the state and society. Training them in modern professions, creating all the conditions is not only a task, but also a sacred duty. If we approach the issue from this point of view, then we certainly will achieve results in our work. Every good deed done to our children will be rewarded tenfold», - Shavkat Mirziyoyev said.
At the meeting, the responsible persons, teachers and youth expressed their views on the discussed issues.