RIYADH: A forum about students in the Kingdom with special educational needs has further enhanced cooperation with the UK.
Education Minister Dr. Hamad Al-Sheikh sponsored the virtual event with the British Council and the UK Education Secretary Steve Smith.
The forum is part of the Saudi-British Strategic Partnership Council’s framework, which aims to activate cooperation between the two ministries to improve the quality of education.
Al-Sheikh said Saudi Vision 2030 supported the development of services for people with special needs. The strategic goals of improving equal access to education for students with special needs were achieved through initiatives to guarantee their right to a comprehensive learning journey in public schools, enable their integration into the labor market, and enhance positive influences through innovative educational experiences.
The forum seeks to create new opportunities for Saudi students with special needs, enhance their educational capabilities and enable them to compete in the future labor market. The ministry is supporting such students in private schools by opening special facilities in Madinah and Makkah, as well as through a partnership in the Eastern Province.
Al-Sheikh said that 21 curricula for special education students had been issued, as had additional lessons through platforms.
Their access to educational services through the ministry-approved Madrasati platform gave them the chance to attend school part-time voluntarily and allocated three educational channels for teaching people with intellectual disabilities and autism, while supporting other channels in sign language to facilitate access to education for the deaf and hard of hearing.
Smith said the event was an opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience on supporting students with special needs and helping their families to see the path implemented to support them.
He added that the forum allowed him to engage in the education system in the Kingdom.
The forum seeks to educate those interested in current special education issues, exchange local and international knowledge on special education topics, and encourage local researchers in special education.
It also aims to promote local and international cooperation to conduct research and introduce special education in domestic and international contexts to encourage investment in special education and strengthen the partnership between the Kingdom and Britain to develop this sector.
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