Educational Seminar to Discuss and Promote Integrated Education in Hong Kong
Over 400 participants attended the Equal Opportunities Commission's educational seminar titled"Learning Together: Accommodating Different Needs" today (22 June 2002) to discuss the implementation of integrated education in Hong Kong. School principals, teachers, parents, representatives from rehab groups and government departments as well as overseas experts participated in the seminar. They shared their experiences and focused their discussions on the directions of implementing integrated education to accommodate students with specific learning disabilities.
In her opening remarks, Ms. Anna Wu, Chairperson of the EOC, emphasized that Hong Kong’s education system should provide fair access to everyone as well as disadvantaged groups, especially those with special needs. “The underlying principle of inclusion is that the diverse needs of students must be recognized and we must cater for different styles and rates of learning. Integrated education not only brings benefits to the students with special needs but all the students in the school. Mutual positive learning for students with and without disabilities and a general raising of the teaching standards can be achieved through practicing integrated education.”
Mr. Matthew Cheung, Director of Education, introduced the plans and services provided by the Education Department for students with special educational needs. “We hope that all schools will accord top priority to the benefit of students and cater for their special educational needs more systematically and effectively. Students will receive more comprehensive care so that the objective of today’s seminar – ‘Learning Together: Accommodating Different Needs’ can be achieved”, he told the participants in the opening ceremony of the seminar.
Two overseas speakers including Dr. Philippa RUSSELL, UK Disability Rights Commissioner, and Dr. CHEN Yun-ying, Head of Special Education Division of the China National Institute for Educational Research, shared their experiences on the implementation of integrated education in the UK and China. Dr. RUSSELL spoke on the topic “Equality in Education: A UK Perspective in Developing Access and Inclusion for Pupils with Disabilities”, while Dr. Chen talked about “Education for All - including disabilities: the Chinese Endeavor”.
Three discussion panels on “Direction and Strategy of Implementing Integrated Education in Hong Kong”, “Practicing Integrated Education in Schools” and “Teaching Students with Specific Learning Disabilities” were conducted in the seminar. Experienced practitioners in the education field exchanged their views on the topics.
The Disability Discrimination Ordinance imposes a duty on educational establishments to provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities. Last year the Equal Opportunities Commission issued a Code of Practice under the Ordinance to provide guidance to educational establishments and other interested parties on how to comply with the requirements of the law in the educational field. To further enhance public awareness of special learning needs, the Commission has published an information leaflet series entitled “Disabilities and Education”, which outlines basic information on the characteristics of different types of disability. The first series of four leaflets was distributed in the seminar.
Enquiry: Mr. Sam HO 21062187