An official from the Ministry of Social Affairs yesterday asked the Education Ministry to recruit more special education teachers to fill a current void.
Em Chan Makara, secretary-general of the Social Affairs Ministry’s Disability Action Council, said during a autism workshop in the capital that the Education Ministry has cooperated with NGOs to implement special education programmes by introducing curriculum for those who are intellectually disabled, but it should consider recruiting more teachers to help educate those in need.
“A lot of people with disabilities need this programme,” he said.
“An ordinary teacher can have up to 40 students, but a person who has an intellectual disability needs more teachers,” Mr Chan Makara added. “There are currently no training centres for special education teachers.”
Chan Sarin, executive director of Hands of Hope Community and head of the Cambodian Intellectual Disability and Autism Network, said awareness of intellectual disabilities has resulted in more parents bringing their special needs children to specialised schools.
However, Mr Sarin said there is a lack of schools and teachers for the children.
“The number of children with intellectual disabilities and autism that attend classes has significantly increased,” he said. “Our network has already organised five schools, but not every child can participate. Many more children are waiting to receive this education.”
Education Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said his ministry will further improve the quality of teachers and education services.
“Based on current regulations, the ministry will continue to work hard to improve the quality of teachers, as well as improve the quality of education services for all students in all levels,” Mr Soveacha said.
According to the DAC, there were 54,838 disabled students last year that attended schools nationwide.