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DESPITE the many laws that recognize the rights of children with special needs, there

is still no comprehensive law that mandates special education in the Philippines. As


educator Dr. Edilberto Dizon points out, nurturing children with special needs is simply
not a priority in the Philippine educational system. The thrust of education in this
country, he says, has always been in the provision of more facilities for the growing
school population and even that has been a chronic problem for the government.
Will the education of special children be more important than mass education? Dizon
asks. The needs of the majority have yet to be fulfilled. How much more for those in the
minority?
If (education) priorities are met, he says, there should have been more SPED
programs and inclusionality programs. More teachers (should have been) trained and
retained and not encouraged to leave the country.

Reflection:
Special Education needs to be prioritized and they should give enough attention to it
because it can be a big help for our country and specially to the children and their
families. There are many children with disability who are very successful and
contributed a great help to their country and I think if the Philippines would enhance the
special education in the Philippines, they will discover that children can be a great
factor.

In striving to educate as many children as possible and with limited funds to build a
separate special education infrastructure to cater to the needs of children with
disabilities, inclusive education was officially adopted in 1997 by the Department of
Education in the Philippines as a viable educational alternative. This article reports on
the current state of affairs for including children with disabilities within regular schools in
the Philippines. The Silahis Centres (school within the school concept) is presented as
a feasible model for implementing and promoting the inclusion of children with
disabilities within regular schools throughout the Philippines. Other aspects related to
inclusive education such as teacher education, policies as well as lessons learned so
far from inclusion efforts and future challenges are also described.

Reflection:
The Philippines should have an enough fund for them to provide the needs of Sped
schools. They are lacking in so much equipment that can help a child to learn and
develop. I hope that the government should take actions to this problem because it
could be a big help for the children if they have the materials they need.

MANILA, Philippines - Some 5.49 million children with special needs (CSNs) in the
Philippines stand to benefit from the proposed Special Education Act of 2010 if
Congress will ratify the bill this week. The Department of Education (DepEd) is urging
the House of Representatives to act on it after the Senate passed its version early this
week.

The passage of this bill will be the 14th Congress parting gift and lasting legacy to the
Filipino people since this will finally give due attention to the education of 5.49 million
children with special needs and people with disability (PWD) in our country, said
Education Secretary Mona D. Valisno.
According to DepEd, there are 5.49 million CSNs in the Philippines representing 13
percent of the total population of children. Of this number, an estimated 4.2 million are
PWDs (persons with disabilities) while 1.27 million are gifted children.
Children with special needs are those who are autistic, gifted or talented, mentally
retarded, visually impaired, hearing impaired, orthopedically or physically handicapped,
learning disabled, speech defective, or with behavior problems.
They also include children who encounter health problems under the formal educational
system.
A child is considered to have a need to train in a special education (SPED) center if he
differs from the average child based on mental characteristics, sensory abilities,
neuromuscular or physical characteristics, social abilities, multiple handicaps, or has a
developmental lag.
Valisno said only 2% of Filipino children with special needs receive support from the
government. In other countries, such children get 100% support from the state.

Reflection:
The population of children with special needs is increasing but the facilities are not. If
the numbers of children is increasing, they should also do something about it to
accommodate it all. It is good that they are training the sped centers so they can
educate the children properly.

The 15-year global Education for All (EFA) movement is drawing to a close this year,
and the verdict is out.
Only a third of the 164 governments that pledged to achieve universal primary
education and five other goals by 2015 have done so, according to the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in the report Education for
All 2000-2015: Achievements and Challengesreleased this week.
By its own admission, the Philippines isn't among those that have made the mark.
In a report it submitted to UNESCO in time for the World Education Forum scheduled in
Incheon, South Korea next month, the Philippine government acknowledged that the
strides it has made in achieving in several EFA goals have "been too slow to make it to
target by 2015."
The Philippine report also expressed concern over boys being at a disadvantage, from
getting into school, and staying there, and recording lower literacy and academic
achievement rates than girls.
Despite the problems, UNESCO still considers the Philippines among the countries still
likely to achieve some of the EFA goals in the coming years if it keeps up its efforts.
One such goal, UNESCO said in this year's report, is achieving the 80 percent gross
enrolment ratio where the Philippines is among the governments that have made
"strong progress" and are "moving forward."
Gross enrolment ratio is the total enrolment in a given level of education as a
percentage of the population that should be enrolled at this level. Net enrolment ratio is

the ratio of the enrolment for the age group corresponding to the official school age in
the school to the population of the same age group in a given year.
The six EFA goals, adopted in Dakar, Senegal in 2000, are early childhood care and
education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children; universal
primary education, or access to and complete free and compulsory primary education of
good quality for all children; equitable access to appropriate learning and life skills
programs for youth and adults; a 50 percent improvement in levels of adult literacy by
2015; gender equality; and improved quality education.
"There has been tremendous progress across the world since 2000but we are not
there yet, UNESCO director general Irina Bokova said in the foreword of UNESCOs
latest report of EFA Despite all efforts by governments, civil society and the
international community, the world has not achieved Education for All."
As a result, she called EFA 2015 a "qualified success."
UNESCO said only half of all countries have achieved universal primary enrolment, with
still 58 million children out of school and around 100 million failing to complete primary
education.
The poorest children are "four times more likely to be out of school and five times more
likely not to complete primary education than the richest," Bokova said.
The Philippines is among the countries where the UNESCO report said inequality in
education persists.
UNESCO cited inequality in the transition from elementary to high school in the
Philippines where only 69 percent of grade school graduates from the poorest families
continued into high school, compared with 94 percent of those from the richest
households.
The situation has hardly changed since 2003, it said.
UNESCO said immunizing children against common and preventable illnesses is
important not only to their overall health, but also to their readiness to learn and
subsequent schooling.
But it noted the gaps between the richest and poorest households in immunization
coverage, and identified the Philippines as among the countries that have seen little
improvement in the total percentage of children fully immunized.
And while the Philippine government has recognized that the problem of more boys
than girls not getting into school or are leaving school, UNESCO said its "gender
equality mechanisms and policies focus largely on women and girls."
UNESCO has conducted site visits to the Philippines and other countries to find out if
schools are child-friendly. It identified poor school infrastructure and lack of
maintenance as major problems. Only one in three schools in the Philippines were
declared to be in good physical condition - without broken windows or peeling paint.
The UNESCO also found that the official intended instructional time is not the same as
actual learning time in some countries. For example, one-third of pupils in the
Philippines, as well as Argentina and Paraguay reported problems with teachers' late
arrival, absenteeism and skipping class, it said.
The Philippines also counts among the countries where computer resources are greatly
overstretched, especially in primary schools, in the process hindering the use of
information and communication technology to improve learning.
Over 100 learners share a single computer at the primary level in the Philippines, the
report said, citing data from UNESCO's database.
The Philippines also hasn't fully decentralized governance of basic education, according
to UNESCO. The national government still sets the curriculum content, instructional
time and teacher salaries, and allocates resources to schools, although it leaves the
choice of teaching methods and support activities for students to schools, it noted.
Programs such as the cash transfer, school feeding, compulsory kindergarten
education, the multisector approach to early childhood services and textbook monitoring

that have contributed to improving access to and quality of Philippine education were,
however, held up as good examples in the UNESCO report.
Because of the setbacks, the UNESCO report urged all government to complete the
EFA agenda by pursuing a "Post-2015" agenda, which sets 2030 as the target date of
completion.
The Philippine EFA 2015 Review report said it is addressing "emerging and persistent"
issues that threaten the achievement of universal education such as poverty, climate
change, devastating disasters, armed conflict and threats to the safety and security of
schoolchildren.
It unveiled the Philippine EFA 2015 Acceleration Plan that will pursue strategies to attain
education of all in the coming years.
The report also said the government has identified longterm targets to guide education
development beyond 2015.
Alternative learning system will be enhanced, the standards of Early Childhood Care
and Development programs raised, the quality of the K-12 basic education program
improved, teaching and learning methods enhanced, ICT adopted for education, and
education organizations and institutions strengthened, according to the report

Reflection:
Its good to hear that they are planning a long term plan to special education. It can be a
big help for our country. I just hope that they will pursue whatever plans they have and
accomplish it successfully. It may be hard to have a long term goal but I hope that they
will achieve it.

It has been estimated that 54% of students with disabilities are receiving their instruction
in the regular classroom 80% or more of the day. With more students with disabilities
receiving their instruction in the general education classroom, support for inclusion has
increased.
IDEA
Traditionally, students with disabilities received their education in separate academic
settings. However, laws such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (P.L.
94-1423), IDEA, required educators to create and implement academic programs that
embraced the learning styles of all students. This meant that students who may learn
differently are not isolated from their peers but, instead, are included in the regular
education classroom.

Inclusion generally involves the recognition of all learners as part of the same learning
environment regardless of their differences. IDEA offers guidelines for the education of
students with a disability.
About 54% of students with disabilities receive their education in the regular education
classroom. The accommodations and modifications provided are based on each
student's Individualized Education Plan (IEP), while the teacher maintains the overall
focus of the general education curriculum. Instruction isdifferentiated (delivered
differently) so that children with disabilities can access the curriculum without being
penalized for their inability to grasp certain concepts or ideas. Instruction is not watered
down but, instead, delivered using alternative methods such as allowing students to
orally take a test rather than writing answers on paper or using graphic organizers to
demonstrate thoughts as opposed to having to write a long essay.

Law, such as Public Law 94-1423 (IDEA), may have provided an extra push for
teachers to embrace inclusion, as such laws were implemented so that teachers
become accountable for how they create and deliver instruction to include all learners.
The regular education teacher is just as responsible for the academic outcomes of the
children in the classroom who have a disability. In other words, inclusion is a shared
partnership between regular education and special education. There have been some
indications that teachers who found inclusion to be a favorable practice found that
students' academic progress was more positive as a result of increased interaction with
their regular classroom peers.

Reflection:
Children with special needs should have given a chance to interact with typical children
so they would not feel isolated. It is important for them to live normally despite of having
disabilities and it could be done by placing them into a regular school and have a least
restricted environment for them.