Jiangsu boosts education services for special-needs students
A teacher gives sensory integration therapy to a special-needs student. [Photo/jyt.jiangsu.gov.cn]
East China's Jiangsu province has been actively promoting the integration of regular and special education in recent years to offer all children with special needs equal access to appropriate education.
As of the end of 2021, 98 percent of students who experience exceptional learning needs in Jiangsu had been admitted to a school and provided with free services. More than 3,800 resource centers that are designed for these students had been set up in regular schools.
Precise identification of special-needs students is the first step to conduct integrated education, said Yin Yazhu, deputy director of the Jiangsu Special Education Instruction Center. In 2018, the province included six more kinds of conditions to the list of disabilities that students qualifying for special education services are required to have.
Due to these efforts, the number of students who are eligible to receive special education in Nanjing's Xuanwu district has increased from 152 to 416, said Zhu Liling, principal of the district's special school.
Schools are also asked to make a list of special education services they can offer. For example, the list of Xuanwu district comprises 14 items, including making personalized education plans, providing special textbooks and teaching tools, as well as offering psychological counseling to students and their parents.
Many schools in Jiangsu have made bespoke class schedules for special-needs students and assigned teachers to give them additional tutorials.
Class schedules that are designed for each special-needs student. [Photo/jyt.jiangsu.gov.cn]
Chu Changlou, the former principal of Kunshan Loujiang Experimental School and an expert at integrated education, said conducting special education can help transform regular schools' views on education and improve their teaching quality. Other children can also learn to respect differences by studying and playing with special-needs students.
Jiangsu will bolster efforts to improve its class system, enhance teachers' expertise, and build model schools in integrated education, said Gu Yuehua, deputy director of the Jiangsu Provincial Department of Education.