Chapter 2, Section 12 of the Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities (Republic Act No. 7277) states that it is the responsibility of the government to provide persons disabilities “adequate access to quality education and ample opportunities to develop [their] skills”.
However, despite this existing law, there are still instances wherein schools and other educational/training institutions do not accept persons with disabilities (especially children and youth with disabilities) due to the lack of information and preparation on how to handle students with disabilities.
“Education of persons with disabilities is not just about their admission to schools and educational/training institutions; it is also about their lifelong education experience including the school facilities, policies, curricula, environment and other people’s attitudes towards them,” explained Edward Ello, Inclusion Advisor of Handicap International (HI).
Thus, to promote and ensure the full enjoyment of persons with disabilities in the technical education setting, HI trained selected instructors and training specialists of the Province of Capiz on inclusive technical and vocational education. The participants are from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) schools of the province.
Ello served as the resource person of the two-day training which was conducted in the frame of the Restoring Livelihoods and Building the Resilience of Most Vulnerable People Affected by Typhoon Haiyan (iRESTORE) Project.
During the first training day, Ello explained the 1) definition of disability; 2) situational of disability in the context of education; 3) issues, concerns and barriers in accessing education; and the 3) definition of inclusive education.
On the other hand, the second training day focused on the principles of inclusive TVET, namely: inclusive facilitation, accessibility, reasonable accommodation, positive environment, peer support and the guidelines on admission of student with disabilities in post-secondary institution in the Philippines.
Before the training ended, the participants were asked to make action plans for their respective schools and training institutions with the objective of making them more inclusive. The immediate plan is to conduct awareness raising activities to all TESDA and TVET schools to be followed by training of instructors, modification of school facilities and provision of personalised support to learners with disabilities.