Ministry of Education to improve mainstream integration of challenged children

Ministry of Education to improve mainstream integration  of challenged children

Public schools for Emiratis have been running a programme for inclusion of children with different levels of disabilities after their capabilities are assessed, the minister said.



By Sajila Saseendran – Senior Reporter

Published: Sun 26 Apr 2015, 12:33 AM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 7:33 PM

Dubai — Mainstream integration of special needs children in the UAE is to get an uplift soon with the Ministry of Education planning to improve its current programme and encourage the private sector to follow suit.

The ministry plans to enrich its integration programme of special needs children in public schools and will encourage the private sector to do the same, the UAE Minister of Education, Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi said on Thursday.

He was speaking after honouring the winners of the fifth Princess Haya Award for Special Education (Phase).

Public schools for Emiratis have been running a programme for inclusion of children with different levels of disabilities after their capabilities are assessed, the minister said.

“Our programme for Emiratis is good,” he said. “We are still discussing with experts on how we can do a better job. We are consulting and working with all our patrons to put the best system in place. They have very good ideas to be implemented,” he said.

“Now we would like to encourage the private sector also to accept children with disabilities in their schools after assessing their capabilities for mainstream integration.”

Al Hammadi said the authorities are mulling new programmes to be included in colleges and universities to train teachers for special needs children.

Earlier at the function, he noted that the UAE was one of the first countries to ratify the comprehensive and integrated policies to protect and promote the rights of the disabled and the dignity of international conventions on this, under a federal decree No. 116 for the year 2009 issued by the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The Phase award, instituted by Princess Haya bint Hussein, wife of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, the minister said, is a great encouragement for people working in and supporting special education. He said he was happy to see the prize has grown international.

One of the recipients of the award from Maldives, Ifham Hussain of Maldives Autism Association, said the award is a great motivation for people like her.

Hussain said she and her sister Ilham Hussain, wife of Mohammed Waheed Hassan, the fifth president of Maldives, started the association with four children and two students. “In five years, I was able to transform our association into a school. There are 91 autistic children from newborn to 12 years being taken care of by and 31 teachers now.”

sajila@khaleejtimes.com 


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