‘Children with special education needs need separate budget allocation’


Foundation for Rehabilitation and Education of Special Children (FRESH) General Secretary (GS) Ashba Kamran has deplored the fact that not a single penny was allocated for children with special-education-needs (SEN) in the federal and provincial budgets. Resultantly, she said, children with SEN would suffer throughout the year, as all funds under the head of Special Education are allocated for the children with Special Needs (SN). The situation would lead to further drop-outs from schools, she feared.
Ashba said the government policymakers should make separate allocation for children with SN and SEN. SEN children are those facing academic disabilities because of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, dyscalculia and attention deficit disorder (ADD) besides autism, she said. The GS said latest surveys suggested that 10 to 15 percent of the mainstream school-going children were facing learning difficulties in one form or the other. But not a single school in public sector was approved by the federal or the provincial governments to take care of such special children, she said. The private sector was also not showing a sense of responsibility in this respect, she added.
Ashba stressed the need to open special schools to education children with learning difficulties. She claimed that the Green Meadows School run by the FRESH was the only school catering to the requirements of SEN children in its Lahore, Rawalpindi and Sargodha campuses. The FRESH GS urged the government to deal with the issues of SEN children independently by allocating special funds for them on priority basis. The foundation was available to assist the government, she concluded.