As we all know, everyone deserves a good education, regardless of status in life, age, and even the state of health of each individual. As one of the top priorities in any nation in the world, we see education as important simply because of the belief that it helps us drive people to a better and more improved system, which makes us more successful and worthwhile not just as individuals but as a group. This is just as important when it comes to people with special needs or disabilities. Humanity isn’t defined if there is no education supporting it.
And with special education, people with disabilities can have the same opportunities to learning, which may be a bit different compared to the usual compulsory education that others are having. The ideal is that special education, depending on each student, is able to address their differences and needs and will involve planned and monitored procedures. With this kind of set-up, do you think that the government should give more funds for the special education program?
Special education Singapore have come a long way since the time where they were one of only two countries in the ASEAN who was not a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which means that they do not mandate a guarantee for persons with disabilities to get inclusive education. This move has brought a lot of attention from various groups, including one of the members of the Parliament. It was sought out as a form of discrimination, but it’s a good thing that the said convention was ratified on 2013.
In terms of budget, we would assume that there is more detail that should be looked upon when it comes to special education. This obviously requires more work and specialists to do the teaching, rather than a normal teacher who can teach general subjects like Math or Science. Singapore’s education budget is currently 20% of the annual budget, amounting to $11.6 billion just last 2013.
We would think that the government should do something about this, since the current budget for education is being handled by voluntary welfare organisations. Although they receive proper funding from the Ministry, there is still demand for better schools that can accommodate people with special needs. There are also other schools which are funded by private organizations, which deliver the same thing of focusing the needs of every student, and doing their best to support and adjust based on the different struggles that these people have. Other than that, we may need to come up with something better to keep the balance between compulsory and special education in the pursuit of unlocking the potential of these people, even those with differences.