KIX LAC held its first working meeting on “Special Education”October 19, 2021
The first meeting of the “Special Education” working group, made up of representatives of KIX LAC specialists in the field, was held. The purpose of the meeting was to share experiences, projects and lessons learned about the initiatives that each one is carrying out in their respective countries and institutions, as well as to explore possibilities for future articulation.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, there are more than 66 million people with some kind of disability, and the probability of school attendance for children between the ages of 6 and 11 with disabilities is 8 percentage points lower than for children without disabilities. Even more, half of young people with disabilities do not complete secondary school and few countries where students with special needs are integrated into regular schools.
The main challenges to the development of special education are:
Lack of understanding of the scope of special education by policy makers.
Lack of trained personnel at the managerial level and classroom teachers.
Lack of trained professionals for visual, hearing, autism and psychological disabilities.
Lack of funding for special education programs in tertiary institutions.
Lack of data and educational policies for disability.
Lack of support for parents of students with special needs.
Raúl Chacón, director of KIX LAC, highlighted the importance of generating these spaces for exchange among colleagues in the educational field in the region, assuring that “we can help and think together about projects, strategies and forms of collaboration, considering the challenges faced by students with special needs. We must be able to build an agenda with the main actors of the ministries of education, universities and experts in the field to advance in the construction of policies and pedagogical strategies that help to reduce these difficulties”.
Participants included Dr. Roslin Khan, Dean of the Faculty of Education of the University of Guyana; Octavia Timothy, Special Education Coordinator of the Ministry of Education of Dominica; Michelle Brathwaite, Project Coordinator of the Ministry of Education of Grenada; JudyAnn Auld , Director of the Victoria School for Special Education in Grenada; Dr. Charmaine Bissesar, Head of Online Education Services, Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning of the University of Guyana; Celeste Burton of OECS. The meeting was moderated by Sonia Rees of OECS and Ivana Zacarias of KIX LAC.