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Improving services for students with intellectual disabilities

     The Education Bureau today (November 2) met with a legislator and representatives of a concern group on education for students with intellectual disabilities (ID) on the direction for improvement regarding ID students' learning period and mechanism for their school leaving arrangements.

     A Bureau spokesman said :"The meeting has covered short to long-term improvement measures. Our aim is to provide additional places in special schools and to entrust these schools with suitable flexibility so that they can, based on their professional judgment, enable ID students on 'reasonable grounds' to extend their learning period to receive 12 or more years of education on a need basis."

     "We will seek resources to implement these improvement measures, including the short-term measure to increase places in schools where conditions permit to provide an additional 200 places for ID students."

     "Our mid-term measure involves conversion works in special schools for the provision of another 350 places."
     "In the long run, it is the Bureau's plan to identify suitable sites for new schools or reprovisioning existing special schools so that more school places can be available to meet demand," the spokesman added.

     The spokesman said, "We will continue our dialogue with the Special Schools Council and the school sector as well as listen to parents' views on how to take forward the above improvement measures. This includes agreeing on the criteria of allowing ID students to extend their stay on 'reasonable grounds'."

     The spokesman reiterated that the Education Bureau had not required ID students to leave school at the age of 18. "Instead, we use the age of 18 as a reference point based on the principle of 12-year education to assess whether students should be allowed to extend their stay."

Ends/Monday, November 2, 2009
Issued at HKT 21:24


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