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Education disabled persons

LEGCO QUESTION NO. 15(WRITTEN REPLY)


Date of Meeting: 28 February 2001



Asked by : Ir Dr Hon HO Chung-tai

Replied by : SEM

Question :

Regarding the education of persons with disabilities, will the Government inform this Council of:

  1. the average student-teacher ratio in special schools for persons with disabilities at present;

  2. the support provided to the parents of disabled students; and

  3. the measures in place to prevent discrimination against disabled students in ordinary schools; whether it has assessed the effectiveness of such measures and, if it has, of the results of the assessment?


Reply:

Madam President,

a. For the 2000/01 school year, the average student-teacher ratio in special schools for children with visual impairment, hearing impairment, mental handicap or physical handicap is 5.15 to 1. The ratio is calculated on the basis of the total number of teachers and actual enrolment in these schools.
b. The Education Department (ED) provides a wide range of support services to parents of disabled students, including :
  1. to advise on, and assist in, school placement of their children, and to explain to the parents the disability and special educational needs of their children and the special education provisions;

  2. to assist parents in working out a comprehensive education plan, including learning goals and progress review, for their disabled children. The plan is worked out on the basis of inputs from parents, teachers, school head, social workers and officers of the ED;

  3. to organise seminars, workshops and sharing sessions to help parents understand and accept the disability of their children, cultivate an appropriate attitude and master sufficient skills to support the development of their children;

  4. through the Resource Help Service, to advise parents with physically handicapped or visually impaired children enrolled in ordinary schools, and to provide them with individual counselling and information pamphlets on how to cope with the students' disability;

  5. through the Audiological Services, to make recommendations to parents on the assessment, habilitation and educational programmes of their hearing impaired children, and to counsel and advise them on the care and handling of these children;

  6. through the Speech Therapy Services, to help parents understand how they can play a part in speech training;

  7. to advise parents on the handling of the educational and psychological needs of their children; and

  8. to help schools establish supportive links among parents of disabled students and to encourage support from other parents through cooperative venture.
c. The Disability Discrimination Ordinance (DDO) provides a legal framework to guard against discrimination of disabled students. The Equal Opportunities Commission recently published a draft code of practice on education for public consultation. The ED, the Board of Education and school councils are working closely with the Commission with a view to putting in place a code which would help to eliminate discrimination and promote equal opportunities in schools in a practical and pragmatic manner.

Through the issue of guidelines on textbooks and curriculum, the ED promulgates the message of equal opportunities among students. Through production of teaching resources, including teaching packages and education television programmes, the ED has strengthened teachers' awareness and competency in this area. In addition, seminars, workshops and sharing sessions are held to promote the general acceptance of disabled children in ordinary schools. The message is also disseminated to students in ordinary schools through both classroom teaching and extra-curricular activities.

The ED has not carried out any systematic assessment on the effectiveness of the various measures mentioned above. However, based on the feedback received during school visits and inspections, the Department reckons that the measures are on the whole successful in progressively promoting the general acceptance of disabled children in ordinary schools.
Last revision date: 28 February 2001
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