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Phase II in special education program launched: China on track to achieve 95% enrolment for children with disabilities by 2020

2017-07-29 14:02:00

Thanks to the implementation of phase I of the Special Education Program three years ago, over 90% of children with disabilities were enrolled in China’s nine-year compulsory education system as of the end of 2016. There were 2,080 special education schools, marking an increase of 147 schools or 7.6% over 2013. 492,000 children with disabilities were in school, an increase of 124,000 students or 33.7% compared to 2013. Public funding rose to over RMB 6,000 per child, while curriculum standards have been brought in and implemented, improving access to, and availability and quality of special education.

According to the Program, in phase II, over 95% of children with disabilities will be enrolled in the nine-year compulsory education system, while access to quality special education for individuals over the compulsory school age will be substantially expanded by 2020. A large teacher workforce equipped with the required qualifications for special education and great compassion for people with disabilities will be employed. A national curriculum and teaching material system will be put in place.

To achieve these goals, six major measures will be implemented. First, compulsory education will be made more widely accessible for children with disabilities. Second, more opportunities will be created for persons with disabilities to receive post-compulsory education. Third, a more efficient public expenditure system will be created to ensure sufficient spending on special education. Fourth, a more robust support system for special education will be put in place. Fifth, special education teachers will be provided with more training and more favorable compensation and benefit packages. Sixth, further reforms will be introduced on standards applying to special education curricula, and a new set of textbooks will be published.

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