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Students with disabilities struggle to receive education in public schools — study


The Jordan Times


AMMAN — Public schools in less privileged areas of Jordan lack suitable infrastructure to host students with disabilities, a study by the Jordanian Coalition for Education said. 
The report, titled “Civil Society Institutions’ role in the Ministry of Education’s Strategic Plan”, adopted both qualitative and quantitative approaches and is based on surveys and in-depth interviews. The sample consisted of almost 1,000 participants. 
“Seventy-nine per cent of the participants said that persons with disabilities do not receive education at public schools,” the study added. 
Participants stated that public schools do not have the proper infrastructure to host students with disabilities. Additionally, teachers and school councils did not receive proper training on how to teach students with disabilities, according to the study. 
“Students, teachers and parents lack social awareness when it comes to accepting differences, which makes it harder to accept children with disabilities,” the study added.
Participants stressed that the curriculum is not suitable for students with disabilities, according to the study.
Director of the Higher Council for Persons with Disabilities Muhannad Azzeh told The Jordan Times that the council, along with several civil society institutions in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, is working to develop an inclusive learning programme. 
“Inclusive learning is a strategic decision and is a very good decision,” he said. 
However, Azzeh added that inclusive learning is not only about building proper infrastructure. 
“It’s also about changing people’s attitudes towards persons with disabilities,” he continued. 
“There has to be a certain number of schools in each directorate that are able to host students with disabilities,” Azzeh noted. 
According to the study, participants said that densely populated areas lack the proper infrastructure to establish kindergartens. They added that classrooms are overly crowded and a large number of schools need immediate maintenance. 
“Children from lower income households are less likely to attend school due to indirect costs like uniforms and transportation,” the study added. 
Children from lower income households are more likely to drop out of school to find jobs to financially support their families, the study said.
The study also noted that 62.9 per cent of the participants attributed public schools’ poor performance to the lack of proper training for teachers. 

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