|To make education more inclusive, the Flemish government has introduced the M Decree.
This is a law stating that children with disabilities should be given a place in mainstream schooling.However, many are concerned about the M Decree.
First of all, because people fear that many children with disabilities will feel lost and lonely in mainstream schools.
Secondly, because several teachers who are employed in special needs schools
The Flemish Minister for Education Hilde Crevits has responded to the criticism.
Also, she said that 180 teachers from special schools
Directors of several special needs schools in the Flanders region of Belgium are concerned about the M Decree. It involves a new law regarding the inclusion of children with special needs within mainstream schools. It will go into effect on 1 September 2015.
“In special education schools, the children flourish, but in regular schools they will be more at risk of feeling lost” the directors say.
Inclusive education is a goal that many organizations, including Inclusion Europe, are striving for. Establishing it has now become mandatory for the Belgian government due to Belgium signing the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. However, there has been argued that many issues still need to be addressed in order for the existing educational structures to be properly adapted to the new system.
For instance, Noëlla Schildermans, primary school director in the province of Limburg has spoken out against the M decree because she fears that ‘we will create an army of children that will be systematically overlooked’.
About 900 children are already set to move to mainstream schooling.
Flemish minister for Education Hilde Crevits has responded to the criticism by ensuring that the M decrete will be put into practice gradually, and that special needs education will continue to exist for those who are really in need of it.
Another concern is that a number of primary schools will lose almost half of its pupils to mainstream educational institutions. Because of this decrease, those schools will no longer receive the same amount of resources. Therefore, about 200 employees are at risk of losing their jobs.
In a response to these concerns, Crevits announced that about 180 employees from special schools will be transferred to mainstream education. There, they will be able to put their expertise into good use when assisting teachers who lack experience regarding children with special needs.
Our work brings the voice of people with intellectual disabilities and their families where decisions about their future are made.
This has always been incredibly important. It is even more so with the Covid pandemic drastic impact on their rights and lives.
Being visible and vocal on issues directly affecting millions of people requires your support.
Become Inclusion Europe supporter and help us keep doing our work.