In 2005, equal opportunity education became the law in #theotherGeorgia. Since then progress has been made towards providing a quality education for every child. Even with progress a great deal more needs to happen for the law to become a reality. We met with officials in the Ministry of Education today for a panel discussion on the topic of inclusion. This refers to including all students no matter their disability into the education system.
Before 2005, students with more prominent disabilities, like autism, deafness, and blindness among others, were kept at home because there were no services for them. Now those services are starting to be provided in some areas. However, the funds and training are slow coming. I also found it surprising how students with much milder forms of learning struggles also rarely receive helpful accommodations. Teachers tend to teach the material at a certain level and if you get it, you get it. There seems to be little by means of accountability for students and teachers. There is only one important test in a student’s school career here. It’s at the end of 12th grade and determines if you finish school and what university you qualify to go to. Students will move on to the next grade even if they have not learned the necessary skills or content.
I am even more excited to be here and help by providing some professional development to some teachers so they are better equipped to teach all students, whatever their struggles.
"This blog is not an official U.S. Department of State blog. The views and information presented are the grantee's own and do not represent the Teachers for Global Classrooms Program, IREX, or the U.S. Department of State."
Stephen Blan teaches US History at Fort Worth Country Day in Fort Worth, TX and is a 2015 Teachers for Global Classrooms Fellow.