When we talk of regular schools accepting learners with special educational needs, it is tantamount to saying there are schools that practice inclusive education. Inclusive education has been a dream of many schools here and abroad, which finds its origin in the practice of integration and mainstreaming—the UK uses the term ‘integration’ and the US, ‘mainstreaming’ according to a Warnock Report. This concept was popularized by the United Nations through its Salamanca Statement (1994) which pleaded for its member nations to ask their governments to make ‘Schools for All’ a reality. Parents of children with special needs would be happy to know that in the UK, there is a Campaign To End Segregated Education by the year 2020 , hopefully paving an even better standard of inclusive learning.
For now, we look into the four As of inclusive education: availability, accessibility, acceptability and adaptability (UNESCO, 2008) as our guide—they are described as follows:
Availability – whether the educational system is physically there
Accessibility – can include fees, regulations (citizenship), location (transport and safety), limitations deciphering whether a child can access education
Acceptability – quality of education, acceptably meeting educational needs
Adaptability – the ability to adapt to relevance and needs of child.
Can I enroll my child with special needs in a regular school?
In my personal experience, there are several schools which do practice inclusive education without being a special school. Hence, as long as your child successfully meets all their entrance requirements (with an addition of a developmental pediatrician’s report as the Creative Learning School, St. Joseph’s College and PWU-JASMS require), these institutions will happily partner with you and nurture your child.
There are some whose school methodologies reflect an inclusive environment—such as Saint Pedro Poveda College’s Personalized Education Program and Angelicum College’s individualized instruction and modular system. Most schools that have a SPED orientation would incorporate phrases reflecting growth in their school philosophies like ‘to maximize potential’ and ‘to the full’.
There are other schools which allow for integration and mainstreaming into the regular classrooms through a special education track. This special track permits the school to grade your child’s performance based on his or her existing capabilities, with the intention of furthering your child’s skills especially in socialization. Our public schools are asked to admit special learners as they are not to refuse any Filipino student. However, we cannot deny that there are cases when schools do not have the facilities and services that can help in a special learner’s growth resulting in a refused admission.
Below are schools that practice Inclusive Education:
112 M.J. Cuenco, Biak-na-Bato, Barangay Sto. Domingo, Quezon City