Inclusive education needed to explore special children’s skills: president

LAHORE: President Dr Arif Alvi said that inclusive education system should be promoted to include special children in normal schooling for their effective participation in society.

The inclusive education would help the special children become an important nation asset, he said and added that after getting education in normal schools, children with disabilities could better explore themselves as per requirements. The inclusive system would enable them to get education which can help them get jobs in market as well, he added.

Addressing a briefing session on the disability, organised by the Special Education and Social Welfare Departments at Governor’s House, the president said that employment quota in private sector institutions should be ensured and monitored by the authorities concerned for persons with disabilities so that they could earn with respect to fulfil their needs and feed their families.

Dr Arif Alvi said that a theoretical framework to be formed to classify the disabilities as hearing, blind and physically impaired persons should be dealt differently, adding that hearing, blind and physically impaired persons could be settled in normal schools but there should be separate mechanism for people with mental/cognitive disabilities.

He said that it was a responsibility of the government to take care of the marginalized sector of society so that a number of comprehensive measures are being put in place for their welfare. But, the private sector should also be encouraged for playing their part in provision of education to special children.

The president said that the private sector in partnership with the government could help special children by granting them access to state-of-the-art learning opportunities, adding that admission quota for special education children to be implemented in private sectors schools as well.

Dr Arif Alvi also stressed the need to educate and create awareness about the private sector as employer for providing employment to people with disabilities for uplift and progress of society as a whole.

He appreciated the steps taken by the Punjab Special Education Department and Social Welfare Department besides others for taking effective and efficient steps to bring the special children in mainstream and make them valuable for society.

Speaking on the occasion, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was moving in the right direction as its policies had started yielding positive results, adding that a model consisted of five to 10 normal schools should be evolved where such people having various disabilities should be indulged for imparting them practical education.

He said that private sector should be motivated to give them admissions by taking solid steps including resource teachers and others as per the learning requirements.

Earlier, Punjab Special Education Secretary Syed Javed Iqbal and Social Welfare Department Secretary Hassan Iqbal gave a detailed briefing on disability, special education and steps including provision of free education, pick & drop facilities, service delivery stipend, uniform and others taken for welfare of special children.

They briefed the meeting that during last two years, provision of 62 new buses, up-gradation of 14 special education institutes, establishment of centralized system, collaboration with private sector special institutions, action plan for implementing Special Education Policy 2020, posting of District Education Officers (DEOs) in all districts, filling all posts by promotion, develop new disability classification, establishment of new institutes, introduction of human resource management system.  - APP