People with disabilities deserve education

The current administration claims to be inclusive, yet it considers closing special-needs schools

People with disabilities deserve education
There are 271 centers throughout the country - Photo: Adrián Hernández/EL UNIVERSAL
English 27/10/2019 09:29 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:35

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Although the right to education is established in the Mexican constitution, thousands of youngsters might not have access to education. These students have different types of physical or intellectual disabilities and have benefited from the program Attention Centers for Disabled Students. The classes are taught at federal high schools, which are administered by Public Education Ministry; nevertheless, in reality, the program operated independently because it is still considered as a pilot program as its reclassification has yet to be approved by Congress.

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EL UNIVERSAL revealed that these centers, located in 271 schools throughout the country, are at risk of disappearing after operating for a decade and showing positive results despite the scarce resources allocated to the program. Since it is not considered as an official project, the government has implemented drastic budget cuts that risk its operation, despite the need to provide education to this sector.

Furthermore, teachers who are part of the program are not considered as such, instead, they are classified as “advisers” or service providers, therefore, they are denied benefits and rights, even when they work harder than regular teachers, especially because they require expertise and specific tools. On the contrary, these teachers face shortages which leads them to deal with different types of students, who all have different needs, in just one class. Besides staff and budget cuts, teachers also have to deal with the lack of materials and the lack of proper spaces for their students.

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To the long list of sectors affected by the budget cuts implemented in the name of republican austerity, now we should add schools for people with disabilities, schools for people who dream about their education. For this reason, an administration that insists on its inclusiveness can't contradict itself and act as if not all Mexicans deserve an education, support, and the same opportunities. It's time for the federal government to reconsider this decision.