New Policy Ensures Better Integration of Children with Disabilities

Asia-Pacific, July 8 2020

CHINA: With a new policy to allow more children with disabilities to attend ordinary schools and study with their non-disabled peers, China’s education authority said it is working to ensure such students’ better integration into society.

China’s Ministry of Education has issued a guideline on improving the work on disabled children’s learning in regular classes for compulsory education.

According to the document made public at the ministry’s website earlier this week, all children with disabilities who are in the compulsory education period and believed to be fit for ordinary school study should be enrolled in such schools.

The document aims to remove the obstacles that keep such children from learning in regular classes and enhance the quality of education for such children.

According to a statement by the ministry’s basic education department, special subsidies are being earmarked to support the education of every child with disabilities, but there are still problems such as lack of sound assessment and proper care for such students in schools, which need to be addressed.

The new guideline says that before every school year, county-level education authorities should work with local branches of the disabled persons’ federation and community workers to get an accurate count of school-age children with disabilities awaiting primary or junior middle school enrollment. Professionals should be invited to evaluate and determine if they are fit for a regular class.

With the new document, greater efforts will be made to support relevant schools, including efforts to renovate classrooms, build necessary facilities and provide personnel and expertise support for the schools, the statement said.

It also stressed sound adjustments to teaching content and methods based on the conditions of such students and customized teaching schemes to help them in both their school study and their learning of living and working skills.

Teachers are called on to pay more attention to such students, work to eliminate all discrimination on campus and make sure these students get along well and grow together with their schoolmates and peers.

Also, schools may make some trial efforts in inviting social workers and therapists to the campus to provide care and rehabilitation services as well as some teaching assistance for relevant students, the document says.

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