Tag Archives: Spain

Filipino PWDs this January 2019

The onset of the year has been promising for persons with disabilities in the Philippines.

For one, the education department’s secretary has called on them to register.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones has issued this in DepEd Order No. 3 series of 2018. The Early Registration, which is based on the “Basic Education Enrollment Policy,” covers incoming kinder, grade 7 and grade 11 learners in public schools. Out-of-school children (OSC) and youth (OSY) in the community are also invited as well as those living in an off-grid community, in a barangay without a school, in a geographically isolated area, in an armed conflict area, in an area with high level of criminality/drug abuse, in conflict with the law, and on the streets.

Those displaced due to natural disaster could also register even the victims of child abuse or economic exploitation, stateless or undocumented, and those who are no longer in school but interested in going back to schools.

Letting persons with disabilities study alongside non-PWDs has been my suggestion since February 19, 2016 when I’ve written about Austria and how it’s taking care of PWDs in the country. It has legislated integrative schooling in 1993 during the first eight years of a child. This is also what is being observed in Spain and Malaysia.

The PWD Forum has pushed for the integration of special education in the basic and secondary curriculum in the country. It has reiterated that after The PWD Forum turned one in the blogosphere and even after it turned twoThe PWD Forum has also made a case on the necessity, benefit, and practicality of sign language if only it is taught to every one.

In the Philippines, this has been the case at the Carmona National High School (CNHS) in Cavite. Education is an equalizer, pointed by Atty. Liza D. Corro, chancellor of University of the Philippines-Cebu, in a post.

The government has also implemented the value-added tax (VAT) exemption on sale of medicines—regardless of brands—for diabetes, high cholesterol,  and hypertension as mandated by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act, or TRAIN law.

And, most important of all, the law that could provide affordable mental health services for Filipinos–the Mental Health Law (Republic Act 11036)–has been signed after more or less 28 years. It could secure the rights and welfare of persons with mental health needs, provide services for them even in barangays, improve mental healthcare facilities, and promote mental health education in schools and workplaces.

“Disability is one of the many forms in which human life occurs: it should be accepted as such and the people concerned should not be excluded in any way from participating in society.” ~ Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs in co-operation with Österreichische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Rehabilitation

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of GMA Public Affairs

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Turning Four!

Not everyone is still willing to give persons with disabilities a chance four years after The PWD Forum came about.

In Indonesia for instance, disability is still regarded as a punishment from God. PWDs must be exorcised, tied up at the back of the house (dipasung), confined to a small hut in the backyard, or tied at the wrists and ankles to a tree or heavy log. Disability is also seen as a matter of fate so there is little empathy for PWDs for whom ‘nothing can be done’.

As such, PWDs are excluded from most governments’ planning and support. In Bhutan in particular, its educational policy lack inclusive policy guidelines resulting in unequal opportunities.  Taiwan, on the other hand, has only programs for PWDs with “mild” conditions and the curricula just followed what is being taught in preschool classes.

In South Africa, teachers lack skills and knowledge. In South Korea, teachers know no culturally relevant curricula. In Malaysia, teachers are unprepared in terms of emotional acceptance and technical skills.

It is no wonder then that PWDs are still berated when seeking employment or at work; employers would definitely incur costs from hiring PWDs. Educating them alongside non-PWDs  would not be an easy feat especially that the term ‘inclusion’ itself has no fixed definition even in the western countries from which this concept was realized.

There are also parents who do not understand the meaning of inclusive education till now. Thus, the parents are still anxious with their children attending mainstream schools. Even governments are not sure what the concept really means and how it could be relevant within the local context.

If PWDs and non-PWDs study together, though, there would be no need to build exclusive educational institutions. Adjustment may also come naturally. Maricel Apatan had not been a burden anyway when she was studying a two-year course in Hotel and Restaurant Management in Cagayan de Oro City. She was even hired as a pastry chef at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel in Manila.

A polio victim, Marc Joseph Escora, had managed his training at the Negros Occidental Language and Information Technology Center (NOLITC) in Bacolod City. Blind, Safiya Mundus had graduated from the Eusebio C. Santos Elementary School.

The PWD Forum could just imagine what else could have happened had Arnel Navales Aba, Godfrey Esperanzate Taberna, Emilia Malinowska, Jose Feliciano, and Mohamed Dalo finish school. Townsely Roberts had at The College of the Bahamas with an associate degree in Accounting and Computer Data Processing in 1995. Gary Russell had, too, at the same college with an associate degree in Law and Criminal Justice then at the University of Buckingham for his bachelor’s and master’s.

It was from his blind father that former interior and local government secretary Jesse Robredo learned discipline. Protecting the integrity and honor of one’s family is of highest importance, his father had said, and children are expected to contribute their share in doing that. So Jesse launched the “Fully Abled Nation,” a program seeking to increase the participation of PWDs in the coming 2013 Philippine midterm elections, roughly three months before he died in a plane crash.

“Hopefully, one day, the notion behind “persons with disability” be somehow erased from the world’s vocabulary and usher-in a day when technology, private & public organizations, and the law work together to give each person equal rights and opportunities, regardless of the person’s impediment.” ~ Atty. Mike Gerald C. David

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Jozelle Tech

2018, for inclusion!

Call it cluster sampling if you may, but the summaries previously conducted on 12 countries in this blog have proven the necessity of inclusive education in the world.

Inclusive education refers to the idea of PWDs and non-PWDs alike studying at the same school. Everyone could lead “regular” lives. Everyone could have a chance to appreciate diversity. Everyone could also learn academic and social skills at their own pace within an appropriate environment.

The inability of a country to implement inclusive education till now cannot really be blamed on its economy. While it is true that money is needed to build schools and provide training, a positive attitude is also necessary to achieve inclusive education.

Take for example Kenya, the 40th poorest country based on the assessment of the International Monetary Fund in its World Economic Outlook Database in October 2016. Poor as it is, it has managed to enact the Kenya Persons with Disabilities Act 2003 and specified a solid framework for the development of a truly inclusive education system in the 2010 Kenyan constitution. It has also signed and ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), believing that PWDs and non-PWDs studying together.

Even Bhutan, the 72nd poorest country in the same list, has  signified its confidence on inclusive education through the frameworks Standards for Inclusive Education, National Education Policy, Individual Education Plan (IEP), and Education Sector Strategy 2020. It has also devoted about seven percent of its gross domestic product to enable free education up to the tenth grade.

Of course, there’s still a challenge; inclusive education here is synonymous to letting girls study. But Bhutan has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to get the idea started. It has also signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the Millennium Development Goals, the Education for All-Dakar Framework for Action (1994), and the Proclamation of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP) Commission on Disability on the Full Participation and Equality of People with Disabilities (2008).

Even the “rich” country Norway would like to let PWDs and non-PWDs study together.1 It has already thought of integrating every student into the ordinary school system even before 92 governments and 25 international organizations met in Salamanca, Spain to talk about inclusive education. Norway also legislated the Education Act2, initiated adapted education3, and established the Institute of Education4.

“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.” ~ Ignacio Estrada

1It is the 182nd poorest country of the 187 assessed.

2Learners in the primary and secondary school have the right to go to their local school.

3This train teachers in adapting to different kinds of learners.

4The institute train SPED teachers.

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of educause

Inclusive Education in Spain

Spain has given its citizens with disabilities a choice whether to enroll in a mainstream school. Otherwise, it has special education institutions for them.

Under Royal Decree 696/1995, pupils with special educational needs can study in mainstream schools with mainstream curricula. Only when it is objectively established that the needs of these pupils cannot be properly met in a mainstream school is a proposal made for them to be educated in special schools.

The 1990 Organic Act on the General Organisation of the Education System (LOGSE), on the other hand, has regulated and governed special education within the general plan of education. Special education has been incorporated into the mainstream system and also introduces the concept of special educational needs.

A decade and two years later, a new framework—the 2002 Organic Act on the Quality of Education (LOCE)—has been established to give attention to those pupils with “specific educational needs.” They can attend mainstream schools with specialized classrooms, or ordinary groups in special schools according to their abilities.

Coinciding with the European Year of People with Disabilities, the “Act on Equal Opportunities, Non-Discrimination and Universal Accessibility for People with Disabilities” was passed. It complemented the 1982 Act on the Social Integration of People with Disabilities (LISMI).

The Organic Act on Education (LOE, 2006) has called on the public authorities to “carry out compensatory measures.” The ultimate goal should be a school for all, and it has taken into account how respect for basic rights and liberties can be achieved.

Spain’s latest regulation on the matter, the LOMCE (2013), follows the guidelines set seven years ago, considering the four types of specific educational support needs: students with special educational needs, gifted learners, those late entrees into the Spanish education system, and those with specific learning difficulties.

Moreover, there would be specialized specific teams and early intervention teams to detect, assess, and diagnose special educational needs. They would have to counsel, collaborate, and participate in the educational process of pupils with special educational needs.

Pupils who must be absent from school for prolonged or repeated periods of time for medical reasons could benefit from the mobile school support units or the school support units in the hospitals. Mobile special education teachers could go to pupils’ homes and mobile attention on the part of special education centers could be given.

“A world that recognizes the rights of the disabled, ensures that people with disabilities can be productive members of their communities and nations, and provides an inclusive and accessible environment, is a world that will benefit all of us — with or without disabilities.” ~ UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Wolter’s World

Inclusive Education in Norway

Even before 92 governments and 25 international organizations met in Salamanca, Spain to talk about inclusive education, Norway has already thought of integrating every student into the ordinary school system.

Norway believes in integrating students—with disabilities or none—in ordinary education. In the Norwegian framework presented by Peder Haug, a professor of pedagogy in Høgskolen i Volda and research director in the Research Council of Norway, an inclusive educational environment has been defined to focus on the increasing fellowship among students so that everyone can participate as part of a process of democratization.

Inclusion is the goal of the educational policy of the Norwegian legislation. All learners must have access to kindergartens and common schools of high quality regardless of their background or abilities, and educational institutions must consider and accommodate each individual’s abilities and capacities.

Its Ministry of Education and Research has also observed in 2010-2011 that when learners with special needs are studying amongst other learners, their classmates have learned to approve of all learners the way they are.

Norway aims to change the educational environment—not the learner—through inclusion in schools. In its Education Act, learners in the primary and secondary school have the right to go in their local school. They have the right to receive adapted education, which would require teachers to have skills that can adapt to different kinds of learners. Only if a school can prove that it cannot act on the necessary measures for a certain learner can he or she transfer.

Would-be teachers, on the other hand, are trained at the Institute of Education. They can study a course in special needs education, which includes a module on inclusive education. The “adapted teaching” module consists of managing diversity, adapted teaching, and learning in primary school (1–7) and the professional teacher and diversity in schools (5–10).

At the University of Troms, teacher education is divided into years 1–7 (primary education) and 5–10 (secondary education), focusing on inclusive, participatory, and multicultural education. It has launched “Pro-Ted,” a project with the main purpose of developing a research-based, comprehensive teacher education Bby carrying out systematic experiments and acting as a base for research-based, intensive collaboration.

Norway still persists to promote inclusivity in its schools with high quality special education to this day. The 1990 World Conference on Education for All had called on countries to develop inclusive schools alongside specialist support services and it vowed to do its part.

“Children and young people must have an equal right to education, regardless of where they live, gender, social and cultural background, or any special needs.” ~Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research 

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of kbyram2