INCLUSIVE EDUCATION/SPED Program
- Special Education in the Philippines has only served 2% of the targeted 2.2 million children with disabilities in the country who live without access to a basic human right: the right to education. Most of these children live in rural and far flung areas whose parents need to be aware of educational opportunities that these children could avail of.
- The Department of Education (DepED) has organized the urgency to address this problem and therefore, guarantees the right for these children to receive appropriate education within the regular or inclusive classroom setting. Inclusive education embraces the philosophy of accepting all children regardless of race, size, shape, color, ability or disability with support from school staff, students, parents and the community.
- A comprehensive inclusive program for children with special needs has the following components:
- Child Find. This is locating where these children are through the family mapping survey, advocacy campaigns and networking with local health workers. The children with special needs who are not in school shall be listed using Enclosure No. 1. These children shall be visited by Special Education (SPED) teachers and parents should be convinced to enroll their children in SPED Centers or schools nearest their home.
- Assessment. This is the continuous process of identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the child through the use of formal and informal tools for proper program grade placement. Existing SPED Centers in the Division shall assist regular schools in the assessment process.
- Program Options. Regular schools with or without trained SPED teachers shall be provided educational services to children with special needs. These schools shall access educational services from SPED Centers or SPED trained teachers.The first program option that shall be organized for these children is a self-contained class for children with similar disabilities which can be mono-grade or multi-grade handled by a trained SPED teacher.The second option is inclusion or placement of the child with disabilities in general education or regular class where he/she learns with his/her peers under a regular teacher and/or SPED trained teacher who addresses the child’s needs.
The third option is a resource room program where the child with disabilities shall be pulled out from the general education or regular class and shall report to a SPED teacher who provides small group/one-on-one instruction and/or appropriate interventions for these children.
- Curriculum Modifications. This shall be implemented in the forms of adaptations and accommodations to foster optimum learning based on individual’s needs and potentials. Modification in classroom instructions and activities is a process that involves new ways of thinking and developing teaching-learning practices.It also involves changes in any of the steps in the teaching-learning process. Curriculum modifications shall include service delivery options like cooperative or team teaching, consulting teacher program and others. The provision of support services from professionals and specialists, parents, volunteers, and peers or buddies to the children with special needs is an important feature in the inclusion program.
- Parental Involvement. This plays a vital role in preparing the children in academic, moral and spiritual development. Parents shall involve themselves in observing children’s performance, volunteering to work in the classroom as teacher aide and providing support to other parents.
- District and school-based special education and regular teachers, administrators and parents need to collaboratively develop and facilitate the most effective program for children with disabilities. This program shall be included in the School Improvement Plan (SIP).