More Schooling for Disabled Children

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Students with disabilities will soon have a better chance of getting a good education. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Education Ministry officials said yesterday that there will be greater participation by disabled children in schools, announcing a plan that would allow disabled youngsters to attend schools with the rest of the country’s children by early next year.
Im Koch, a secretary of state for the Education Ministry, told a local news outlet at the 5th National Forum last week that the ministry has been training teachers on how to help students with disabilities in preparation for the students’ move into classrooms with their able-bodied peers.
The ministry has also set a budget of 250 million riel (about $60,000) to prepare books, study programs and salaries for teachers who will be supporting the first step of the process. “The project to launch a disability curriculum for children with disabilities is so they can receive the same quality education as normal students,” he said. 
Kong Vichetra, the executive director of the Komar Pikar Foundation, said every child has the right to an education and the right to participate in society despite their disability. 
In the past, he told Khmer Times, the number of disabled children receiving an education in public schools was low because there was discrimination against them – by teachers, parents and students – and some schools did not have the infrastructure, training or materials to support the studies of disabled children. 
Parents have said that many schools throughout the country turn away children with disabilities because they are ill-equipped to educate them. Due to a lack of roads in many communities, a significant number of disabled children never get the opportunity to attend school, he said.
“It is good that the ministry has targeted this sector and we hope that children with disabilities will be able to get more of an education,” he said. 
According to a report from the Education Ministry on the 2015-2016 academic year, there were approximately 19,000 disabled children attending primary schools. 
The World Health Organization estimates there are hundreds of thousands of children with a variety of disabilities in Cambodia. 

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