China Spends More on Special Education

Chinese government Monday promised to increase the education budget for disabled children and welcomed private funds.

A proper special education system is of great significance to equality of disabled people in social affairs, to improve the happiness of disabled families and to safeguard social justice, said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in a written instruction to a national conference on special education held here Monday.

All levels of government must improve the special education system so that disabled children receive as good an education as others. An inclusive special education system without discrimination is a must, according to Vice Premier Liu Yandong's address to the conference.

The government will improve the capacity of existing special education schools with more investment in facilities, teaching programs and teacher training, Liu said.

It will also encourage ordinary schools to enroll more disabled children. More budget will go to special education schools and financial assistance programs that cover all disabled students.

Seven departments, including the education, civil affairs and finance ministries, issued a plan to improve education for learners with special needs on Jan. 20.

The plan set a target of at least 90 percent of children with visual, hearing and intellectual disabilities in free primary and middle school education by the end of 2016.

Compulsory education only covered 71.9 percent of disabled children by the end of 2012, while 99.5 percent of eligible children without disabilities are in primary education and 98 percent in middle school.

Local governments should work out how to carry out this plan as quickly as possible and issue detailed policies, said State Councilor Wang Yong, who presided over the conference.


Source: Xinhua