MoE’s decision on disabled students draws resentment

The decision of the Ministry of Education represented by the Private and Model Education Sector not to allow the educational process to be conducted for people with disabilities through distance education or student attendance at schools sparked a wave of resentment among the students and their parents, stressing the decision is unfair and negatively affects the future of students, reports Al-Qabas daily.

Parents and activists in issues of people with disabilities considered the Ministry of Education bulletin involves injustice and abuse, as it stipulates that private schools for students with disabilities should not be allowed to complete the 2019/2020 academic year or start the 2020/2021 academic year through the distance education means, while preventing students from receiving educational services through the school building unless they obtain prior approval from the ministry.

The parents expressed their dissatisfaction with the decision to deprive their children of education, rehabilitation and training, considering that it is an unfair decision, and it must be reversed. President of the Association for Parents of the Disabled, Rehab Bourseli, confirmed the absence of a well-thought-out and clear educational plan to deal with education, rehabilitation and training of children with disabilities in all types of disabilities. He stressed the need for the ministry to meet with the schools for people with disabilities, provided that each school submits a plan.

She was surprised with the view of the Public Authority for Disabled Affairs of People in its decision regarding the resumption of studies despite adopting the health measures and precautions approved by the Council of Ministers and the Ministry of Health under the pretext that the Ministry of Health did not respond to them by agreeing to resume studies, in spite of the readiness of a number of schools and rehabilitation institutions that receive those over 21, as well as students. She expressed dissatisfaction with Ministry of Education’s decision to prevent disabled students from completing the current or next academic year, as well as remote study, as if the ministry in the field of disability did not know that the length of the educational ban, as it described it, had an impact on the mental health of people with disabilities.

She considered that depriving those students of their right to education or rehabilitation – whether in school or remotely or through a schedule of home visits to teach cases individually – after some schools had prepared and developed the educational plan, is not an educational method. For her part, President of the Kuwaiti Society for Follow-up of Disabled Issues Al-Faris explained that groups of people with disabilities, including the deaf and the blind, receive their education in special education institutes, the university and applied schools for general education curricula, as well as other disabilities.

Al-Faris recommended the need to take into account technical and technological matters in the mechanism of implementing education from a distance, in terms of dealing with phones and computers to receive the curriculum or solving assignments or examinations. She indicated the obstacles to students with mental disabilities who receive accredited curricula involve how to apply distance education, stressing the importance of providing sign language interpreter for deaf students in all steps and procedures, as well as the blind, to communicate with the lecturer and teacher while reading the content and slides. She pointed out that “there are disabilities that require ending their school year, while others need to be prepared to communicate with, and the personal opinion of some disabilities must be taken. She also suggested that all students with mental disabilities who receive educational programs and curricula should climb up with the students of intellectual education and successfully qualify intellectual education for their academic year.

Disability rights activist Ali Al-Thuwaini said “it is difficult implementing distance education for severe, mental and intellectual disabilities that cannot sit in front of the device or go to school without having someone to help or support them, indicating there are no distance behavior modification sessions, as well as pronunciation and speech modification classes. He pointed out that distance education is suitable for disabilities capable of handling the device, being it the phone or laptop, as well as device configuration for communication. He pointed to some challenges that may hinder the educational process for students with disabilities, including the length of time for the class and the teacher’s ability to excite and deliver information to them.

Activists working on disability issues suggested some steps to facilitate the educational process, including: 1- Training parents on how to deal with their children and respond to teachers when learning remotely. 2- Home visits from the school for some teachers and trainers. 3- Amending electronic communication times for parents who wish for evening periods. 4- The presence of an assistant at home to support the student in communicating remotely with the teacher or trainer.

Source : Arab Times