Cyprus Mail

Education ministry hits back at accusations of hostility against disabled children

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The education ministry on Thursday slammed the ‘inexplicably negative attitude’ of the confederation of organisations of the disabled (Kysoa) after the latter claimed children with disabilities are treated with hostility.

“The state has specific legislation that lays down fixed procedures for the inclusion of children with disabilities and all other children included in special education in schools,” the ministry said in a written statement.

It explained the allegations made by Kysoa the previous day are “completely contrary to the legislation”.

The confederation had accused the ministry of showing hostility, relentless resistance and intolerant attitudes towards children with disabilities. It cited as an example the case of an eight-year-old student who was made to attend special education in order to receive additional support for Greek and maths.

Her case sparked protests by her parents and other supporters who claim this decision of the central committee was discriminatory.

But this is a “completely unfair and inappropriate slander of dozens of professionals participating in the committees provided for by law,” the ministry said.

“Once again, the organisation is flagrantly ignoring the legislation and the provisions established by the state to ensure the inclusion of all children in schools,” it added. The education ministry explained how “troubling” Kysoa’s opposition is to its efforts to make early diagnoses to address the needs of children.

The ministry noted that it will continue to “ensure and provide for the inclusion of all children in education in accordance with the laws and regulations of the state”.

“We would expect that an organisation which is committed to defending and caring for disabled people’s organisations would how a spirit of co-operation and try to make use of the opportunities and resources available to the state for this purpose,” the ministry said.

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