|By Mitchelle L. Palabusanon/JPM (The Freeman)|
CEBU, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) is urging the House of Representatives to ratify the Special Education Act of 2010, as the passage of this bill will finally give due attention to the education of 5.49 million children with special needs (CSN) and people with disability in our country.
Deped Secretary Mona D. Valisno, in a statement, said that only two percent of Filipino children with special needs are able to get support from the government, unlike in other countries where they get 100% state support.
The passage of the law, Valisno said, will pave the way for the creation of a new Bureau of Special Education along with the existing bureaus of elementary, secondary, and alternative learning.
The law will also mandate the creation of at least one SPED center in each city and province of the country.
If approved, the new bureau will be tasked to formulate an appropriate curriculum and other appropriate programs to achieve functional literacy for all children with special needs.
Under the bill, the DepEd will prepare a scheme for financial and medical assistance, including nutritional programs, to poor but deserving children with special needs.
It will also draw up incentives to encourage private sector participation in the education and rehabilitation of children with special needs.
The education department estimated that there are 5.49 million CSNs in the Philippines or 13 percent of the total population of children.
Deped added that of this number, an estimated 4.2 million are persons with disabilities while1.27 million are gifted children. — THE FREEMAN