China Vision is working with Qisehua Childrens’ Kindergarten in Zhengzhou City to bring about policies and practices which support inclusive education at pre-school and primary school levels in Henan Province and throughout China.
The project is in the process of setting up a Resource and Advocacy Centre, staffed by new and existing staff of Qisehua, making use of Qisehua’s experience and reputation – as well as resources from China and overseas – to improve the environment for inclusive education in Zhengzhou City and Henan Province. This will then become a basis for wider advocacy for inclusive education in across the whole of China.
Advocacy team The development of a professional, multi-disciplinary advocacy team, to promote pre-school inclusive education throughout Henan Province and develop transitional strategies to begin facilitating inclusion at primary school level.
IE Resource Centre The creation of a sustainable Inclusive Education Resource and Advocacy Centre, to conduct research and advocacy, and provide practical support and information for advocates and practitioners of inclusive education in other parts of China.
Archive and record keeping A resource is being established to maintain records of all disabled children in pre-school inclusion in Henan and provide information and support for pre-schools to throughout the province to develop effective inclusion strategies.
Information database A database containing articles and information about inclusive education from China and other countries will be used for research, training, policy advocacy and awareness-raising, and made available to IE advocates throughout China.
Policy advocacy Qisehua will engage directly in policy advocacy in Henan Province and nationally, campaigning for continued improvements in laws and policies supporting pre-school inclusion, policy reform to support inclusive education at primary and secondary levels, and allocation of resources to facilitate implementation of inclusive education policies. The models developed in Henan will also be used to inspire policy change throughout the country. Policy advocacy will also identify specific laws and policies that impede the development of inclusive education, both locally and nationally. These include:
- Article 8 of the Draft “Regulations on Education of Persons with Disabilities. This states that kindergartens, schools and other educational institutions should by law accept any person with disabilities who meets their criteria…”
- Article 22 of the Draft “Regulations…” states that “disabled people who can not easily adapt to the school environment… (should attend special schools)”.
- Measure 3 of the “Plan to Improve Standards in Special Education”, which states that there should be an increase in special education budgets, and that the program to build more special schools should be continued.
These policies need to be challenged and revised to allow for proper accommodations to be made in mainstream schools and resources to be allocated accordingly.
Zhengzhou Conference on Inclusive Education
Qisehua and Henan Education Bureau will jointly organize a conference on inclusive education in Zhengzhou City in 2017. The conference will comprise the following elements:
- Policy and legislative reforms necessary to support inclusive education.
- CRPD Article 24 and the development of inclusive education in other countries.
- Practical models of inclusive education from China, Taiwan and other countries.
- Workshop for head-teachers on implementing inclusive education.
- Workshops for teachers, parents and support staff on skills necessary to support young children in inclusive education
The Conference will take place over 5-6 days. It will draw on existing expertise in China, as well as inviting several key speakers and trainers from Taiwan and other countries.
Currently resources on pre-school inclusion, and transitional services to primary education for children with special needs, are very scarce in China. There is yet no resource centre that can provide practical advice to teachers and parents, or make objective, informed recommendations to policy makers. Qisehua’s experience and reputation places it in a strong position to develop this kind of resource. There is now growing discussion about Inclusive Education in China and new policies and regulations are being formulated. Understanding of the actual practice and implementation of inclusion is poorly understood. There is often a belief that inclusive education just means “special education” plus “mainstream education”; this misconception often results in a distorted form of integration, placing children in mainstream classrooms without appropriate support (随班就读) or setting up segregated classrooms within mainstream schools. Qisehua’s Resource and Advocacy Centre will promote an understanding of inclusive education in line with the CRPD and informed by good practice from around the world.