Is There A 2-Tier Gap In The Education System Or Children With Learning Disabilities?
- Jul 05, 2018
The answer is an unfortunate “yes.”
It is most glaring in the case of special classes, providing education for children with special needs in mainstream schools.
All of these special classes come in smaller settings, typically 6 students to a teacher, with 2 assistants. They are designed particularly to cater to the requirements of kids who have been assessed as the ones in need of specialized support.
In recent times, the number of special education classes has actually soared by more than 130% since 2011. This represents a clear shift in policy to deliver education for young people with additional requirements in mainstream education.
However, latest data point to the fact that they’re not being distributed evenly across the education system.
There is evidence that certain schools are using unfair restrictive policies to deter student admissions with learning difficulties.
These schools may also inform parents that they lack the infrastructure, resources, or room to tend to special needs children. Some may even suggest other schools in the locality for the betterment of the kid.
As a result, many parents are compelled to travel long distances to gain accessibility to schools with learning difficulties.
These children, thus, come under a higher risk of dropping out, ending up with home tuitions without getting the advantage of mixing with other people of their age.
The Irish Admissions Bills
The Irish Department of Education came up with a wonderful solution to the problem.
Their Minister of Education will have the full power to force a school to open a special class for their student where it’s deemed obligatory.
In addition, any school that’s not over-subscribed would be compelled to accept all students who apply.
Mathe Rosenkranz, an 18-year student with mild autism and other needs, divides his time between mainstream classrooms and special classrooms.
He said, “Being in a regular school is important. There can be a bit of a stigma that goes with kids who might have special needs . . . they think you’re infantile. I feel like I belong. I have friends. I feel like I fit in. It’s not something I really think about that much.”
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