Amman — According to the High Council on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (HCD), the biggest challenge facing Jordanian persons with disabilities is education.
With this staggering figure, the Council’s 2020 Decade Strategy for Inclusive Education states that “the vast majority of school-aged persons with disabilities are completely outside the confines of educational institutions.”
Working with the Ministry of Education, HCD aims to increase the percentage of school-aged children with disabilities enrolled in regular schools to 10% by 2013, providing them with “all the requirements of inclusive education”. .
Essar Mazahreh, director of HCD’s Follow-up Directorate for Inclusive Education Programs, explained: Jordan news There are no figures indicating whether the proportion of children with disabilities in schools has increased or decreased. In any case, the Directorate General is committed to implementing her 10-year strategy to strengthen access to education in the Kingdom, she said.
“We believe that helping people with disabilities to secure their rights is a social responsibility and has great benefits for both people with disabilities and the economy,” she said.
Why is the enrollment rate so low?Mazaré points to several reasons for the low enrollment of students with disabilities, including a lack of public awareness of the rights of persons with disabilities and the importance of inclusive education.
Poor infrastructure, limited financial resources and a lack of qualified staff also contribute to the problem, she noted.
HCD seeks to change stereotypes, integrate the notion that disability rights are fundamental human rights, and encourage acceptance of diversity within community settings, she said.
One of the key ways to do so is by encouraging parents to enroll their children with disabilities in schools, Mazahreh explained.
What are authorities doing to fix the problem?The Council works hard with ministries of education and international organizations to address the challenges faced by persons with disabilities, especially in terms of access to education.
This is achieved through funding schools, developing infrastructure, equipping schools to accommodate students with disabilities, training qualified teaching staff, and creating friendly and inclusive educational environments. .
HCD is also committed to implementing an early intervention program from the kindergarten stage, which facilitates the process of integration from early childhood, and enlists experts in the field of special education to develop standards for educational diagnostics. .
In addition, 57 support teachers have been appointed in 31 schools and are trained to support the academic integration of students with disabilities.
The Council also participates in civil society organizations and agencies to build community support for inclusive education and conduct awareness training programs to empower local organizations with tools and strategies to gain support and support. is being implemented.
At the government level, HCD and the Ministry of Education have amended and added legislation to support young people with disabilities.
Experts Discuss Inclusive EducationJordanian activist for the disabled Iman Al-Abadi said. Jordan news Centers and clubs should be opened to enable persons with disabilities to take advantage of their role in society, and schools should be prepared to strengthen integration and ensure the enrollment of as many students with disabilities as possible.
She called for a focus on literacy programs so that students with disabilities can actively participate in society without feeling excluded.
Meanwhile, Hussein Al-Huzai, a professor of sociology at the University of Jordan, called the 2% enrollment rate “extremely low” and lacked the necessary tools and sufficient professionals in public schools and some private schools. I said it’s because .
“This makes it difficult for people with disabilities to integrate into society and makes it impossible for society to benefit from their abilities,” he said.
Look outside Jordan for inspiration“If we want to increase the proportion of learners with special needs, there are many solutions that have been adopted by many countries, including countries in Southeast Asia, Latin America and Scandinavia, to create sustainable solutions within the classroom. We are,” said expert Suha Tabal. In the field of early childhood special education.
“We have to capitalize on their experience.”
She said relevant authorities “should not wait to get financial allocations” to integrate students with disabilities into schools.
“There is another option,” she said, adding that some countries offer teachers, after studying at university, a diploma in training to create suitable educational environments for students with disabilities. pointed out.
Tabar added that “you can also rely on peer tutoring by talented children who can volunteer” to teach those who are behind in their studies.
Inclusiveness as a top priority
HCD Chair Prince Miled met with the Senate Committee on Civil Liberties and Rights, Chairman and members, on January 16 to discuss the rights of persons with disabilities to access services and programs provided by public authorities. We talked.
While Jordan has made “remarkable progress” in the legal field by issuing anti-discrimination laws, amending its constitution and amending its civil service system, Prince Maired said the biggest challenge facing this segment of society is education. I have confirmed that there is.
Noting that education allocations for persons with disabilities remain “below ambition”, he called for making inclusiveness a top priority in education strategies.
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