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Study on status of inclusive education programs in kindergarten in Kingdom launched

2020-03-03

The Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (HCD) has launched the study, "The status of Inclusive Education Programs in Kindergarten in Jordan". The study aims at identifying the status of these programs and their compatibility with global trends, and helping those involved in early childhood to define, develop, and sustain inclusive education programs in line with the criteria of early childhood programs for all children, including children with disabilities.

Since early intervention services and inclusive education in kindergartens are essential to meeting the needs of children with disabilities and preventing possible developmental delays that may hinder their access to appropriate education, on an equal basis with others, this study came to enable decision and policy makers to build on their results and raise awareness of those results with the requirements for success in inclusive education in kindergartens and pre-school, to enhance opportunities for children with disabilities in education.

The study summarized the lack of requirements for inclusive education in kindergartens in the Kingdom, especially the governmental ones, as well as the small number of kindergartens that implement inclusive education in the southern region.

The study reflected the weakness in the physical or social environmental access requirements and accommodation necessary to enrol all students, especially students with visual and hearing disabilities, which resulted in a lack of enrolment of those students in kindergarten in the Kingdom.

The study indicated the lack of family participation in inclusive education conditions, in addition to the poor preparation and training of teachers on the requirements of inclusive education at  the kindergarten phase, in addition to the lack of specific programs used in kindergarten, which inevitably affects the effectiveness of inclusive education, and contributes to shaping negative attitudes towards it by educational staff (administrative, technical) and some parents of students enrolled in kindergarten.

The study recommended the need for institutionalizing inclusive education in early childhood through reviewing and amending the relevant policies and legislations, developing a procedural guide for inclusive education that takes into account the specifics of the kindergarten/pre-school phase, and providing executive procedures to ensure its success, taking into account the material and social specifications necessary for all types of disabilities, especially visual and hearing disabilities.

The study also stressed the need for continuous training for cadres working in inclusive education to keep abreast of the latest practices in inclusive education programs.

The study also recommended the need to activate participation of parents and encourage them to volunteer in inclusive education programs in the pre-school phase.