China's Disability Education Solution

A new report from China’s education ministry says the government has achieved its goal to build one special education school for every 300,000 people across the country. Beijing has spent US $836 million on “the largest special education school construction project since the founding” of the People’s Republic of China by building and expanding more than 1,000 such schools. It also claims that in these schools, there are increasing numbers of teachers trained to work with children with disabilities and that the student-teacher ratios are improving. But is this really a good thing? Well yes and no. Investing those resources in segregated schools for children with disabilities is the wrong strategy. It rejects the “full inclusion” requirements of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which China ratified in 2008. The report notes that Beijing has devoted some resources for inclusive education in regular schools by setting up “resource rooms” for students with disabilities. But efforts at inclusion appear to have received far less support than measures geared towards segregation. So although the fact that they will be getting proper education and care is very good, and a huge step forward, I believe it just could and should be taken differently. Do you think that the segregated schools are enough? Or do you agree that they should be integrated not separated?

Information based on a report from CNN with Opinions from Raymond Iglesias, Youth Organizer, from Kids Meeting Kids.

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