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HCD urges government to maintain face-to-face education for students with learning difficulties and those with disabilities

By Maram Kayed - Sep 17,2020 - Last updated at Sep 17,2020

AMMAN — The Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities called the Ministries of Education and Social Development to continue direct face-to-face education for students with learning difficulties and those with disabilities.

The Council pointed out in an official letter the negative consequences that will affect this segment of students now that learning has gone back online and the Al Manar Centres for children with disabilities have closed.

“The damage caused to students with learning difficulties or those that have been diagnosed with the autism spectrum disorder is significant as their education depends mainly on individual plans with specialists,” said the Council.

The letter also noted that a number of these students were subjected to violence in their homes during the lockdown as “some parents could not deal with their challenged kids properly like the specialised centres and schools do.”

The low academic achievement of students with disabilities was attributed to the interruption of their special educational and rehabilitative programs as well as “the failure of distance learning programs to meet their needs,” said Mohammad Asmar, a child development expert.

“This has led to their loss of skills that teachers worked very hard for them to acquire before the pandemic. The re-learning of those skills will have psychological and financial consequences for their families,” he added.

The Council requested from the concerned ministries the return of students with disabilities and learning difficulties to their classes as their schools and centres are not crowded and contain a small number of students.

“We ask that students with learning difficulties of all levels of education in public and private schools be sent back to direct education, provided that these institutions, centers and schools comply with the requirements and conditions of public safety,” said the Council;s letter.

Except in individual cases in which initiatives were taken by teachers, the council concluded by stating that the online learning programs are not designed to deal with students with learning difficulties, autism, hyperactivity, or other mental challenges.

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