Special Education is showing growth in the Philippines. More and more schools are offering inclusion and mainstream education as an avenue for children with special needs. According to Education Secretary Armin Luistro, last 2012 the budget for Special Education has been increased from 115 million pesos to 180 million pesos. Moreover, it is a considerable progress that parents nowadays are more open in talking about their child with special needs to their own families, as well as to medical experts.
At this time, there are many notable organizations, such as the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, which encourage families to bring their children with Down Syndrome to participate in active movements, like marathons, to foster the spirit of camaraderie. This also teaches the children the value of keeping a healthy body. It is through these organizations where parents can bond with other parents who are raising kids with special needs. Support groups are formed, too.
Special Education Centers
These centers are open to gifted children and those with learning disabilities. Secretary Luistro promotes the training of the personnel who are in charge of these centers. He believes that they should study and be trained under schools which have special education courses. In 2012, 69 new SPED centers were opened.
There are public and private schools in the country which cater to children with special needs. Depending on the needs of your child, there are specific schools which follow an inclusive, mainstream, or an exclusive special education curriculum. Be sure to visit these schools yourself. If their philosophy is aligned with yours, then that is the time you can place your child in that school.
If, as a parent, you feel more comfortable educating your child at home due to safety reasons, another option would be home schooling him. With the assistance of a special education teacher, you can oversee the education of your kid from the four walls of your home.
Back to Basics
If your passion is really special education, universities offer special education degrees such as University of Santo Thomas and the University of the Philippines. These schools offer special education in undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. This will enrich your knowledge on children with special needs, and equip you with better understanding of how to help your own child. You can then try your hand at applying to special education schools, depending on your teaching philosophy.
Click here to check special education schools in the Philippines.