Starting from 2019, children with moderate to severe special needs will need to attend publicly-funded schools, just like all other children in Singapore.
Minister for Education (Schools) Ng Chee Meng (pictured above with 11 year old Loknaroshni) announced the new policy on Nov 4 at the annual Sped conference, saying: “This is indeed an important milestone in Singapore’s continuing drive towards national inclusiveness.
“It is therefore timely to include our children with special educational needs within the framework established by the Compulsory Education Act. This is a reaffirmation that every child matters, regardless of his or her learning challenges,” he said.
The policy change comes nearly five years after it was recommended by a a 32-member, government-appointed expert panel. Experts have said that including special needs children in the Compulsory Education Act would compel parents who do not send their children to school – due to lack of awareness of opportunities, or fear of their children being seen in public – to do so.