Senator Pia Cayetano, the youngest elected Senator in the history of the Philipines, has announced a new bill for inclusive education, which will improve learning activities for children with special needs.
The bill outlines plans to create learning and resource centers around public schools in the Philipines, which will provide the care and attention students with special needs require for wholesome education.
This new bill is a serious step forward for inclusive education in the country and comes at a time when efforts worldwide are increasingly focused on students with special learning needs.
Inclusive education and public schools
Students with special needs have been disregarded for a long time, which is why NGOs and activist groups around the world are pushing for changes in educational systems globally. Ms. Cayetano’s Bill No. 69, called the Inclusive Education for Children and Youth with Special Needs Act, is a perfect starting point for the improvement of the educational system in the country.
According to Ms. Cayetano, students with special needs:
deserve to learn in an environment with compassion and understanding, and where they can grow as productive members of the community
The most recent research by the Department of Education reveals that there are more than five million (5.5m) children with special learning needs in the Philipines. Bill No. 69 will help create a better-suited study environment for all these children, as learning centers will be located in already existing public schools.
The Philipines is making a commendable step forward in providing equal access to education for all students. Ms. Cayetano has stated that the primary motivation behind this bill was to bring equality, as students with special needs deserve quality education as much as every other student.