Home Schooling

Again to high school: nonetheless too many college students with disabilities who usually are not or poorly educated

For all children, September 1 rhymes with “back to school.” Everything ? Not exactly. According to Unapei, a federation bringing together associations of people with intellectual disabilities and their families, too many young people with intellectual disabilities will still not be enrolled in school or benefit from only “a few hours a week” of lessons at the start of the 2022 school year.

For the first time, Unapei attempted to quantify the flaws. For this purpose, it collected a sample of 7,949 children or adolescents with disabilities supported by local branches in France. Of this total, 18% have “no teaching hours per week”, a third between 0 and 6 hours, 22% between 6 and 12 hours and only 27% benefit from at least 12 hours of teaching per week.

“Once again”, students with this type of disability “are the invisible, the forgotten” and “their rights are always ignored”, condemns Luc Gatto, president of this federation, quoted in a press release. Lack of education or inadequate education has “dramatic consequences” for families, often “exhausted”, condemned Unapei.

Progress, according to the government

The government, for its part, highlights the increase in the number of children with disabilities admitted to school each year. They will be more than 430,000 at the beginning of the 2022 school year, compared to nearly 410,000 last year, according to data reported in early August by the ministries of public education and people with disabilities. This number has “tripled in less than fifteen years” and does not take into account around 67,000 students trained in hospitals or specialized structures such as medical education institutes (IME), the same sources said.

In school, the measures introduced by the government are “without focusing on the quality of schooling”, which implies sufficient time for teaching and support adapted to the needs of everyone, Sonia Ahehehinu, vice-president of Unapei, stressed to AFP. In particular, the federation calls for better teacher training and an adaptation of the number of classes accepting students with disabilities.

Some families wait years for a satisfactory solution, emphasizes the association, which cites the case of a 6-year-old girl whose parents had long hoped to benefit from the home support service (Sessad). After two years of waiting, they got nothing and were finally referred to the PII, with… four years of waiting. “We are starting from scratch,” despaired parents quoted by Unapei.

With AFP

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