Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 18th 2013 Contents B32
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, July 18, 2013
More than a quarter of Chinese chil-
dren with disabilities don t get to go
to school, while many of those who
do are blocked from mainstream insti-
tutions or taught by untrained teach-
ers, a human rights group said.
The report released Tuesday by New
York-based Human Rights Watch said
Chinese students with disabilities are
denied access to regular schools unless
they can prove they can adapt to the
schools physical and learning envi-
ronment, and that accommodations
for such students are "little to none."
In one example, the group said a
mother went to school several times a
day to carry her child up and down
stairs because the restroom was on a
different floor from the classroom.
The report sheds light on how
China s burgeoning problem of social
inequality---even in education---applies
to people with disabilities. In China,
there is only a nascent public awareness
of the issues that people with disabilities
Prejudice and social stigma run high
in this deeply competitive society, driv-
ing many parents to abandon children
with disabilities to China s chronically
underfunded state orphanage system.
Just days before the Human Rights
Watch report was released, China s
Education Ministry issued its own
report on the same topic.
The ministry s report said 28 per
cent of Chinese children with disabilities
are not enrolled in China s compulsory
nine-year education. But it said the 72
per cent enrolment rate represented a
jump of nearly 10 percentage points
from 2008, and that an increasing
number of disabled students were in
regular schools with proper accom-
Maya Wang, a researcher for the
rights group, said the ministry s report
failed to show how it was making main-
stream schools more accessible to dis-
abled students, as the government is
obligated to do under an international
treaty on the rights of disabled people
that Beijing ratified in 2008.
Yang Zhanqing, an independent
advocate for people with disabilities,
said the HRW report is "quite objective"
but that the picture would be worse if
interviewees from remote, mountainous
regions were included in the research.
Another activist had harsher words
on the overall situation.
"No Chinese student with disabilities
has his or her rights fully protected,"
said Cheng Yuan of the non-govern-
mental agency Ganzhilu, which helps
people with disabilities.
In its report, the Education Ministry
said both central and local governments
have pumped funding into special edu-
Of all 378,800 students with dis-
abilities in Chinese schools, more than
half are in regular schools with nec-
essary accommodations, including
home tutoring, the ministry said.
It said schools in at least three major
eastern cities are banned from turning
away any student with disabilities.
However, Human Rights Watch said
the reality was different. Despite gov-
ernment policies ensuring access for
children with disabilities, many of them
have in practice been denied admission
to mainstream schools or pressured to
leave, the report said.
Often, teachers have received little
training to adjust to the needs of chil-
dren with disabilities, it said.
Human Rights Watch also said those
who are bright enough for higher edu-
cation are often denied admission
under guidelines set up by the gov-
ernment. The guidelines advise uni-
versities of the types of "physiological
defects" and "illnesses" that make a
person "unable to take care of them-
selves or complete their studies."
The ministry said school pro-
grammes take into account the stu-
dents physical capabilities as well as
Human Rights Watch said its report
was based on more than 60 interviews
with children and young people with
disabilities and their parents. (AP)
A blind child reads a
Braille book at a special
school for blind children
in Fuzhou in southeast
China's Fujian province
in this file photo. More
than a quarter of
Chinese children with
disabilities don't get to
go to school, while
many of those who do
are blocked from
or taught by untrained
teachers, a human
rights group said
Education limited for China's disabled
Human rights group report:
Maya Wang, a researcher for the rights group, said the
ministry's report failed to show how it was making
mainstream schools more accessible to disabled
students, as the government is obligated to do under
an international treaty on the rights of disabled people
that Beijing ratified in 2008.
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