Primary school classroom (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Douglas P Perkins) Primary school classroom (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Douglas P Perkins)
Tuesday, September 8, 2015 - 09:23
Special needs kids are left behind in schools says child advocate
The new system of appropriate education is not solving problems for kids with special needs in the classroom. State Secretary Sander Dekker must adjust the policy quickly. This is according to Children's Ombudsman Marc Dullaert in a report, NOS reports. The purpose of appropriate education is to give children with specific learning needs an education that suits them. This is to lead to fewer children staying at home or having to attend special needs schools. Dullaert finds that old laws and regulations are standing in the way of customization in classrooms, such as the restriction on home schooling and compulsory education that applies to all children. Information to parents can be improved. And schools still too often look after their own financial interests instead of the interests of the child. "Schools should therefore still make the genuine transition to appropriate education", according to Dullaert. Children who do not have proper support available, and children who need more care, are being left behind by the system, according to the Children's Ombudsman. State Secretary Dekker, on the other hand, is positive about the progress of appropriate education. He points out that schools are doing everything in their power to give children in the school education adapted to them, stressing that the budget for healthcare in schools has remained the same. According to Dekker, a change like this needs time. Dullaert feels that this is impossible to explain to the kids and their parents. "Their future begins today". He wants an officer to be appointed in each region who can intervene if things go wrong, the information and support to parents to improve and opportunities for education outside schools to be extended in the law.