Under annual project activities sponsored by Liliane Foundation, the Research Center for Inclusion (RCI) organized an exchange visit to Dak Lak from 8 to 9 May 2019 for the delegation from three provinces of Hoa Binh, Quang Tri and Quang Nam, to study the model of Inclusive Education Support Center for Children with Disabilities (abbreviated as Center).
Delegates attending the exchange visit are representatives of RCI’s partner organizations in the three provinces, including Quang Tri Charity Association, VNHIP, Microfinance & Community Development Institute (MACDI) and representatives of Department of Education and Training and Department of Home Affairs of Quang Tri province, Department of Education and Training of Quang Nam Province, Department of Education and Training and People’s Committee of Hoa Binh Province.
Currently, Hoa Binh, Quang Tri, and Quang Nam provinces have not established an Inclusive education support center for children with disabilities or already established one which has students with disabilities. Therefore, the purpose of the trip is to help the three provinces study the model of the Center in Dak Lak, one of the first centers established in the country and working effectively, as well as to help the provinces plan to implement this model locally.
During 1.5 days of the exchange visit to Dak Lak, the delegation had a discussion with the managers and teachers of the Center, visited Le Loi primary school where children with disabilities study in an inclusive environment and met with the Department of Education and Training of Dak Lak province.
The Center was formely known as the School of Hope for children. The Center has 17 classes with 180 students with disabilities from kindergarten grade to high school grade. At the Center, in addition to studying academic subjects, children will be involved in physiotherapy exercises, which are matched to each type of disability. Students will also learn life skills subject and career orientation subject. These two subjects help ensure that the children can continue to study in integrated/semi-integrated classes in public schools and to get jobs.
The delegation visited Le Loi primary school in Cu M’gar district, Dak Lak province. At the school, teachers always create the best learning environment and living conditions for children with disabilities so they can attend inclusive education. All inclusive/ semi-inclusive students have a study plan to track development process from the beginning of their study.
Every month, the Center sends teachers specializing in special education to the school to train the inclusive teachers and give direct support to students with disabilities currently receiving inclusive education at the school. The schedule for visits is agreed between the Center and schools from the beginning of the year according to the Center’s annual plan.
In the meeting with Dak Lak Department of Education and Training, the delegation received valuable sharing from the Department’s representative on how they support the Center since its establishment and give promptly advices to the Center during their operation. From the Department’s point of view, the most important factor that contributes to the effective operation of the Center is the dedication and commitment of the Center’s head for children with disabilities. They must understand the great meaning of inclusive education for children in order to decide and maintain policies, helping to ensure the Center operates well.
The delegates also had the opportunity to ask questions and learned from the experience of the representatives of the School, the Center, the Department of Education and Training of Dak Lak province on the legal basis to establish the center, how to operate the center, enrolment as well as regulations for students with disabilities and teachers at the Center.