Ministry of Education (MOE) has announced that children with moderate to severe Special Educational Needs (SEN), who are above the age of 6 and below 15, will be included within the compulsory education framework established by the Compulsory Education (CE) Act, with effect from the 2019 Primary 1 cohort.
MOE said that parents will be able to fulfil the CE obligations by having their children attend specified government-funded Special Education (SPED) schools.
This initiative, which will begin with the Primary 1 registration exercise to be conducted in 2018, was announced by Minister for Education (Schools) Mr Ng Chee Meng at the SPED Conference today.
Minister Ng said, “This is a significant milestone in Singapore’s move towards building a more inclusive society. It is heartening to see that, today, the majority of children with SEN are able to access education in mainstream or SPED schools. This move is possible with the strong partnership between the community and government.”
“MOE will continue to work with the Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) and parents to ensure that learning opportunities are accessible to all Singaporean children who are able to benefit from them,” he added.
MOE said that an advisory panel, chaired by Minister of State for Education Dr. Janil Puthucheary, will be appointed. The task is to ensure that the implementation of CE would best serve the needs of children with SEN.
MOS Janil Puthucheary said, “Over the years, MOE and various VWOs have worked closely to enhance the quality, accessibility and affordability of SPED. We have also implemented measures to strengthen support for children with SEN in mainstream schools. The Advisory Panel will have some work ahead, to make sure that we implement CE in a way that serves the needs of all children, but with the community and the professionals coming together I’m sure we’ll be able to.”