This is for all special kids & their special families.
Much has been said about special education in this country. Much has been done too. But not much has been achieved.
This is the scenario in our schools:
Photo source: Porapak [email protected]
1. Students with special needs are taught writing and other learning skills. They are taught the alphabet and the numbers too. However, there is no creativity in teaching. Teachers are taking the easy way out by teaching the same things over and over again.
No doubt students with special needs learn from repetition of tasks but the teachers are taking this too far when they teach the same thing year in and year out! Heck, even the tests given are almost similar in all the years. Not much effort is made to coach the students further when they have mastered a level. Things became very stagnant after the first few years.
Photo source: Pixabay
2. Students with special needs are supposed to be given the right tools and skills to equip them to be as independent as possible in life.
This definitely will not work if the system favors the better ones over the less able.
Sad to say there are elites, the middle rung, and the untrainable in this hierarchy of students. These are basically the three categories in almost all schools and this is ironically put in place by the teachers and the schools themselves.
Photo source: Tatiana [email protected]
3. The aim of special education is to maximize the potential of the students so that they can assimilate into society.
The system should be such that special students who have mastered certain skills be absorbed into mainstream classes. This will eradicate barriers and they will gradually find understanding and acceptance in society.
However, this is far from what is actually happening in our schools. Normal students who cannot master the 3Rs are instead transferred to special classes where they are classified as OKU, receiving the benefits and privileges that come with such categorization. These become the elites and are often the apple of the teacher’s eye for they are easier to guide and teach. They also deprive the really special ones from opportunities and avenues which are reserved for them.
4. Whenever there is any competitive sports event or taken time, the teachers will drop everything and start training the elites, this referring to seemingly normal ones who function just like normal students.
Then when these students win accolades, they are feted when they return to school, becoming the pride and joy of the school, as if winning is everything.
So where does this leave the middle and lowest category? They have been deprived of their rights to a proper education system that is owed to them. With the exception of the Special Olympics where there are categories for slow athletes, all other avenues are closed to them.
5. And nobody is doing anything about it.
Possibly the people in charge are of the belief that the system is well and good or they are just too complacent to improve the system. Whatever it is, this does not abode well for our special students especially the ones with Down Syndrome, severe autism, and behavioral problems. These are the ones who have been pushed to the lower rung.
6. Then there are teachers who know that they are dealing with special children who do not know how to complain will liberally be fidgeting with their handphones when they are supposed to be teaching.
There was a case where a teacher who was damn lazy with seriously low KPI applied to undergo special education training and now she is a full-fledged special education teacher. She would take selfies and wefies in class, play Tik Tok, and sell things online.
All these are based on the observation of a concerned mother from 6 years at primary school and 7 years at secondary school.
There will, of course, be better and worse schools and/or teachers but one thing is for sure, parents have a very important role to nurture and guide our special ones and do not leave all to the schools and/or teachers.
You will not see the results you want instantly but the joy is tremendous when you see your children have the slightest improvement or reach a milestone that other people take for granted with their normal children.
Last but not least, love your special children unconditionally. Your love will give them confidence, charisma, and self-esteem.
Photo source: Unsplash