After reading this news article posted in People’s Journal Online Edition today, I felt it’s good to put it in my blog as a living proof that the Department of Education has promised not to neglect the special education programs.
Hearing impairment is one of those disabilities that form part of the special education system. This means that the deaf youth are entitled as much in education as other children. I personally laud the efforts made by our current DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapus. I’m sure he also has some support in store for the deaf group. I notice this because in the news, he only mentioned the braille textbooks to be given to the visually impaired.
Sad to say, support for special education centers rest fully on the whims of the local government units. This means, if the mayor has a heart for the children with special needs, then he will pour out funds for it. But if not, then, it’s “look for your own support or we will shut you down.” dilemma.
I know of one particular case. During our school orientation with the parents of our deaf students, one mother informed me that she had to enroll her daughter all the way to Quezon City even if they live in Marikina City. She said that before there was a SPED center there. But their current mayor shut it down and stopped admitting deaf children. When they inquired why, a representative from DepEd told them that they would be “wasting their resources just to accommodate a few“. They added that they would rather use the classrooms for 50 students than to be used by four or five deaf or other students with physical disabilities. This considering that Marikina City is a first class, highly urbanized, one of the highest tax revenue collection in the country. Yet out of 17 public elementary and 9 public high schools, none of them offer special education. That’s sad, very sad.
In contrast, Quezon City boasts of caring for all of its constituents. SPED centers sprout almost yearly. The city government issued circular memo to all principals NOT to turn down a child from enrolling, even if he/she is differently-abled. Quezon City is the largest city in terms of population, land area and tax collection. Aside from that, most private organizations and special educational institutions are in Quezon city including our school for the deaf. No wonder the city receives so many blessings and attained remarkable achievements.
Here is the excerpt of the news article:
THE Department of Education announced it has strengthened its Special Education programs to cater to children who have special learning needs.
Education Secretary Jesli Lapus said the undertaking is in connection with the observance of Autism Consciousness Week spearheaded by DepEd and Autism Society of the Philippines to raise public awareness on and provide the learning environment for children with special needs.
The move was also in line with DepEd’s thrust to provide education for all and access to public education services particularly parents who cannot afford to send their children to private schools that accommodate kids with special abilities.
DepEd under its wing has 217 SPED Centers that cater to the needs of children with special abilities. The department issues Braille textbooks to help especially visually impaired children.
DepEd said it will join ASP and the National Council for Disability Affairs (formerly known as National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons) in the celebration.