New regulations for children with disabilities and their return to school
Statement by Christos Christofides, Head of AKEL Education Affairs Bureau,
AKEL C.C. Press Office, 26 May 2020, Nicosia
The fact that the Ministry of Education in a single weekend approved new arrangements in relation to the return of children with disabilities to schools proves:
– How inhuman and erroneous the initial decision was,
– There were and there are solutions. What is missing is interest, planning and sensitivity,
– Sloppiness that characterises the overall planning in Education.
However, even with the new regulations, there are still serious problems:
– The responsibility for a child’s capability to study is shifted from the state to the parent, since the parent must prove his/her child’s capability to study,
– There is still no overall plan for reopening Special Schools, with special protocols and planning. Some children need the Special School even for health reasons.
– There is still a problem in the philosophy dealing with people with disabilities. Disability is not a disease.
– There is no planning for what will eventually happen to the children who will not be able to return to school. Planning that should include, for example, distance learning.
– The special units were established in our schools within the context of the new perception for Single Special Education, with the main goal of effectively integrating children in the school social environment, without discrimination and exclusion. The Minister of Education’s decisions abolish this philosophy.
The most important problem remains the philosophy that the Minister of Education applies in relation to single special education. It is not our children with disabilities and their parents who are responsible towards the state and the education system, but it is the state and our education system that have a responsibility towards these children and their parents
Intervention of Georgos Koukoumas, member of the C.C. of AKEL and the International Relations Department, at the Hearing “Palestine: What’s Next?” organized by GUE/NGL2015-07-1
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