Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Chinese Children with Disabilities Denied Access to Education

One of the fundamental human rights is the right to education. Every person, regardless of their race, age, sexual orientation, or ability is entitled to the right to attend a school so that they can learn. However, in China, the right to education is being denied to a large number of students with disabilities, usually by schools that reject them or parents unwilling to help accommodate their child's needs. The reasons for this are much more complicated than it seems on the surface, as there are many cultural differences between what we know here in the US and what life is like in China. In the US, accommodations are made for all persons so that they may be able to pursue the endeavors that they wish to pursue. In China however, things are much different due to the culture, the large population, and limited resources. The article mentions efforts that the Chinese government is putting forth to help increase the amount of resources available to students with disabilities. In my opinion, however, the reason for the problem has a cultural basis. In China, things are different than they are here in the sense that people are not all viewed in the same way. A person with a disability is often not looked at as an equal, but as an inferior. Oftentimes, this person will face a great deal of societal rejection from not only his/her peers, but even from his/her own family. The potential of people with disabilities is oftentimes viewed as highly limited, and not worth tapping into.
This article was highly troubling for me, especially when the lack of trained educators and special education programs came to light. The impact that this has on students with disabilities stretches far beyond lack of education. Because of this deficiency, these students, in the event that they even attend school to begin with, are placed in classes with other students who move at a much different pace, and will oftentimes mistreat them. Especially at younger ages, people oftentimes do not understand that some people are different and move at different paces. These people are still capable of amazing things as evidenced countless times through history. However, without proper education from trained professionals, these people will never see the opportunity to make a difference and will oftentimes be subjected to abuse and rejection from others. The solution for this problem is very complex, and I think it will require a great deal of government funding for educational programs and a change in the mindset of the people.

1 comment:

  1. The US is actually one of the rare countries in the world that pays so much attention to people with disabilities. It is really amazing to see how the GAtech disability office works - they have a system to accommodate all kinds of disabilities so that students can fully participate in education.