Rising Cost of Special Education

Rising Cost of Special Education  Rising Cost of Special Education

The annual cost of special education in Iran is more than $17 million and currently, 72,000 students are studying in 1,560 special schools across the country.

Furthermore, 38,000 students with mild or moderate disabilities attend regular schools along with normal students, and therefore, don’t get special services, said Majid Ghadami, head of the Education Ministry’s Special Education Department.

In 2014, the department’s annual budget was only $8.5 million. The recent increase in the budgetary allocation “will help us improve the quality of special education services,” he said, as reported by ISNA.  

Ghadami said 6 to 11 students with a single disability are usually put in one classroom but the number of students with multiple disabilities is 3 to 4 per classroom.”The smaller number in each class helps teachers to provide more effective education.”

Teachers of special needs students also receive 15% extra wages than regular school teachers.

A plan for screening preschoolers prior to the start of the academic year (September 23) this year will be implemented on May 22 in 850 health centers with the help of 6,000 health specialists. The screening test is not free and will cost $4 per student, as government has not allocated funds for this purpose. However in some of most deprived areas health screening would be free.

“We have estimated that this year, 1.2 million 6-year-old first-graders will join school,” he said.

From now on, 5-year-olds can also be examined at the health centers. “As we record the children’s health data in our electronic registering system, they don’t need to undertake screening at the time of joining school a year later.”The earlier the diagnosis, the sooner intervention can begin for disabilities in children.”

The main goal of the screening is timely diagnosis of all types of physical disabilities, sensory impairments as well as mental retardation and learning disorders like autism and dyslexia.