Avoid Separation

Kompas, page 11, Saturday, Nov 20

Special needs children are entitled to education equal to that received by children without special needs. However, this principle cannot be applied properly because in the community it is still firmly planted the notion that children with special needs should be separated.   Education expert Doni Koesoema said the educational principle is that it is each individual’s right to follow a regular and inclusive school. However, in society’s thinking, including the government’s, there is still a fragmentary view, which divides the children of Indonesia into the category of ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’.

The mindset that separates children with special needs leads to those who are born with differences from most children to be immediately isolated. These children are judged not to be able to function like other members of society. In fact, all children have their respective special needs. There are children who are responsive, but there are those who take a long time to absorb lessons. There are children who quickly remember written material in a book or on the board. There are some who remember through voice.

Special education curriculum expert from Jakarta State University Asep Supena explained designing education for children with special needs is aimed at two options. If the child under psychological analysis has a level of intelligence that is lacking, he/she is directed to enter SLB because in this school are taught the skills to enter the world of vocational education.

However, if children with special needs do not have the intelligence barrier, they should be directed to enter regular schools designated as inclusive schools. National Education Minister Regulation No. 70 of 2009 on Inclusive Education states the regency/city administrations are required to provide at least one special mentor teacher in schools designated as inclusive schools.

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