policy ensures education for special kids
Last Updated : GMT 17:34:35
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Last Updated : GMT 17:34:35
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Policy ensures education for special kids

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Emiratesvoice, emirates voice Policy ensures education for special kids

Students who experience special educational needs and disability will also receive a "sibling priority"
Abu Dhabi - Emirates Voice

Schools and universities in Dubai will no longer be allowed to refuse admissions for children who have a special educational need and disability, according to a new policy framework announced by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).

Such students are being guaranteed a right to receive quality education and training in all types and phases of schooling across the emirate.

The Dubai Inclusive Education Policy Framework, released on Thursday, has been developed to ensure inclusion of all learners, regardless of ability, in the education sector. The 50-page book lists a series of new policies in terms of admissions, identification and early intervention, participation, equity, systems of support for inclusive education, among many others.

One of the new policies also ensures that admission into all educational settings, including early years, will not be conditional upon the submission of a medical diagnosis.

"Every school has a different experience and every student has a different need. You need to customise it and the level of customisation differs from one school to another. Now we're raising the cultural and social expectation, so a child cannot be denied from the first moment because they have a disability. The school needs to make an appropriate and reasonable accommodation and all the efforts that school leaders can make," Fatma Belrehif, executive director of Dubai school inspections at the KHDA, said.

"We will be working on plans with each and every school to help reach these targets, in terms of how can they be disability-friendly by 2020, some are, some aren't. We will have to individualise our planning."

Students who experience special educational needs and disability will also receive a "sibling priority" for admission to a specific school or educational programme.

Previously, parents have struggled to enrol their children, who have special educational needs and disability, into mainstream schools. Schools often refused them admissions as many of them do not have the necessary facilities, educational curriculum or support staff that may be needed to enrol a person with determination.

Belrehif said the KHDA "often" receive cases where parents of people with determination are turned away from schools. "We listen to the point of view of the parent and the school and reach a good judgement on whether the child was best suited to be in the school or not. We do receive these cases and it happens quite often in our offices," she said.

According to the new policy framework, private schools will be required to allocate "an appropriate percentage" of the school budget for the development and support of school-based provision for inclusive education.

"What we're asking schools and other educational institutions to do is to allocate reasonable budgets that are needed. At times, it's a part of the teachers' training, or upscaling your teachers, or making them support teachers - it's all up to the school leaders on how they would like to distribute their resources. It all also depends on their level of inclusivity," Belrehif said.

The Dubai Inclusive Education Policy Framework has also been launched to match the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the most disabled-friendly cities in the world.

Source: Khaleej Times

 

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