The circular of the Ministry of Education and Science for “Inclusion of children of Special Education and Training, of the DG class of High School, who will study in branches of Secondary Technical and Vocational Education and Training (MTEEK)” is against the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities disability, the rights of the child for education, the “Law on Persons with Disabilities of 2000”, as well as the “Law on Education of Children with Special Needs”, which the state itself has voted for and supports, it states in a statement, the School Psychology Department of the Cyprus Association of Psychologists.
From our experience as School Psychologists in Cyprus, it is stated, we can understand the reasons why the Ministry of Education and Science made this decision – the intense difficulties experienced by most teachers in secondary education are well known, whether it concerns theoretical courses or technical , where security issues may also be raised.
However, this decision, it is noted, seems to attribute this responsibility exclusively to children and specifically to a portion of children, who for various reasons may present some difficulties, but ignoring their positive characteristics and capabilities, as well as how in the end can be reinforced by the education system to reach the best of their abilities.
“Apart from the fact that the specific attitude of the Ministry of Education seems to violate the rights of children, in the modern literature it is known that if a child is excluded from the education system for various reasons he is more likely to develop social problems, substance abuse, early pregnancy, unemployment, etc. These certainly have a negative impact on society at large. That is why the support of the children and their stay in the school system concerns us all “, it is added.
With this circular, the Ministry of Education and Science, note the school psychologists, refers to children who mainly fall victim to direct or indirect racism and marginalization as a result of some decisions of the Ministry in which it seems strongly that the whole context and multifactoriality of the problem is not taken into account. .
“His specific stance does not seem to be in line with his general goals for unified education and inclusion of all, which is contradictory, since a bill on unified education is currently being promoted.”
It is pointed out that according to the guidelines for integration in secondary education, which are applied abroad, the integration efforts should be based on the accessibility of the school, the existence of appropriate material equipment, the diversification of the teaching process, the principle of social acceptance, individualization and mobilization of each student to find his potential but with the appropriate support from the people around him (Professionals and not).
“Only in this way will each child be able to feel that he / she is” included “in the group / society and to reach the best of his / her abilities while achieving the learning process”, it is added.