Cameroon: Inclusive Education - Carrying Along Children With Special Needs

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The 10th National Guidance Counselling Day held on October 14, 2016.

Gone are the days when learners with physical, hearing, visual and other challenges studied in special schools. Under the new policy introduced by the Ministries of Secondary and Basic Education, such children now study together with normal children in mainstream or ordinary schools. Educational officials explain that the objective is to end all forms of discrimination against learners with special needs.

The Minister of Basic Education, Youssouf Adidja Alim, chaired the 10th National Guidance Counselling Day in Government Primary School, Mfandena, Omnisports, Yaounde, on Friday, October 14, 2016. During the event, school children acted roles to demonstrate the importance of inclusive education and highlighted the theme, "The support of guidance counselling to the implementation of inclusive education in the Ministry of Basic Education." The Minister spoke of the benefits of inclusive education, saying guidance counselling had a major role to play. This new approach, she noted, encourages parents of children with special needs to send them to normal schools without fearing that they will be maltreated.

According to experts, when children are registered in classes that reflect similarities and differences in real life, they become more aware of diversity. Moreover, respect and understanding is boosted when children with different skills and from different cultures play and learn together. Inclusive education enables all children to attend mainstream schools with peers of the same age, and to contribute and participate in all aspects of school life, educationists insist.

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