The KHDA granted a wish for parents of kids with disabilities with a policy allowing their kids admission to mainstream schools
28 November 2017| Last updated on 28 November 2017
For a long time people with disabilities have been pushed aside in our society and are often made to feel unwelcome. People don’t know how to engage with people of determination and are uncomfortable around them, then find it easier to turn a blind eye and ignore them. Sadly, this is also the case in schools.
Having a disability doesn’t necessarily mean that a child cannot attend a normal school, it just means that they will need a bit of extra help and attention. Yet, due to ignorance, and a reluctance to change and put in the extra effort, children who have special education needs or a disability (SEND) are denied access to mainstream schools.
This is, however, all going to start changing in the near future in the UAE. The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) has issued a new inclusive policy allowing people of determination to receive admission in mainstream schools.
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Parents are very excited about this new policy and hope that it will help change the attitudes and mindsets of school leaders.
One parent told EdArabia that her child with Down syndrome was refused admission into more than 10 private schools while others said that some schools weren’t even willing to meet their child after learning that he has non-verbal autism.
Another problem that parents of children of determination faced if they were accepted into mainstream schooling is the cost. They would often have to pay much higher tuition fees than other pupils as well as for a learning support assistant. All of these costs add up and eventually parents end up paying two to three times the amount that other parents pay for one child.
Under the new policy schools are asked to allocate a part of their budget towards building facilities and resources for these enrolees as well as maintaining them.
Parents are excited about this new policy, but as one mother said, this is a new start, but things won’t change overnight. It is still going to take a long time.