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PIA Press Release

DepEd sees inclusion of special children in local schools

by RG Alama

Davao City (12 July) -- The Department of Education has been training teachers, principals and school supervisors on the Department's inclusion program for children with special needs.

According to Elsa Maglapid, Head of the Special Education of the DepEd-XI said that with the inclusion program children with special needs (children with disabilities/ autism/ mental retardation) will be accepted to the regular public schools.

"The parents will no longer have to incur additional expenses in transporting their children to Special Education (SPED) schools. Their children can attend classes near their homes."

Manlapid, speaking before Kapihan sa PIA at the PIA-XI office held last July 11, bared that DepEd has conducted seminar workshops on these teachers, district supervisors and most off all the school principals on the procedure and the right steps in dealing with children with special needs in their schools.

She cites that one of the aspects is letting the principals and the school officials understand class size for special children. "You cannot just lump them to a 60-student class," Manlupid says that for instance a child with mental retardation is equivalent to dealing about 10 normal children.

She also cited one instance where a school principal would just assign enrolled special children to the school's bodega as their classroom. With the seminar the school is taught how to attend to the needs of these children. They (special children) will be placed in a least restrictive classroom suited to their needs.

Manlupid also said that DepEd is adding more special education teacher items to the City. In 2007 there were about four SPED teacher items given to Davao City, she said that this year the number of items would be increased and the Department is filling these items.

Manlupid said that despite the new SPED teaching items, they are still behind in SPED teaching particularly in facilities and tools like textbooks and Braille. She also said that they are also ensuring that school facilities will have access features for PWDs like ramps and guardrails. (PIA) [top]

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