KUCHING, April 4 2019 : The Ministry of Education believes only 14 per cent of the country’s special needs students are registered in government schools.
Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching said this was considered a low percentage as according to United Nations estimates, 10 per cent of the population in each country around the world comprised special needs persons.
“Therefore, for us it is very important to encourage parents to send their special needs children to school. So we can ensure that they also have the chance to receive education in government schools,” she told press conference after a working visit to Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (C) Bintawa here today.
She said one of the main reasons why parents did not send their special needs children to school was because of the social stigma attached and the parents did not like them to be labeled as special needs persons or ‘orang kurang upaya’.
“Some parents cannot accept the facts. Basically, (they are) in denial. So some of them may not be aware that the government schools provide education for these kids,” she said.
Teo also said the Education Ministry provided an allocation of RM142 million as a special month allowance to special needs students (MBK) in the country.
“An allowance of RM150 will be given to every MBK who is registered in government schools as an initiative by the Education Ministry to ensure that no handicapped person is excluded from getting basic rights like proper education,” she said.
She added that the Education Ministry practised the ‘Zero Reject Policy’ for special needs students and as of January, 2019, had registered 83,093 of them.
“In Sarawak, as of Jan 31, 2019, 5,804 special needs students had been registered compared to 5,766 in 2018.
“Of these, 147 special needs students are in special education schools, 4,432 are undergoing the Integrated Special Education Programme and 590 the Inclusive Education Programme,” she said. – Bernama