Monday, 27 July 2009

Special Needs Education

Finnish schools provide extensive special needs education.  The schools provide special support for students with difficulties, disorders, and disadvantages.  

All students have the right to the same educational objectives and possibilities; therefore, students with various difficulties have the right to individual support.  The extent of this support depends on the extent of the difficulties.  

The Basic Education Act defines students with special educational needs as those affected by illness, disability, or reduced functional ability, those who need more mental or social support, or the students who have risk factors in their development that affect their learning.  

The philosophy aims first to include students within the mainstream classroom, in order to provide them with the same opportunities as their peers.  The second option provides special education in a separate class, group, or school.

In 2006, 7.7% of students received special education, while in 1998, 3.8% of students needed more attention.  The Board of Education attributes this to better diagnosis of disabilities such as dyslexia.  

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