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Minister of Education Przemysław Czarnek in Węgrów on putting a “veto on the absurd, ideological policy of inclusive education”

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We finance the construction, expansion and modernization of special schools in order to veto the absurd, ideological policy of inclusive education – said Przemysław Czarnek, Minister of Education and Science in Węgrów. – We involve children in adult life, preferably in special schools, because we have excellent staff here – he added. As we wrote earlier, investments in special schools in the style proposed by the Minister of Education worry specialists.

Minister of Education and Science Przemysław Czarnek inaugurated the national school year on Monday at the Special Educational and Educational Center in Węgrów. During his speech, he emphasized the importance of special schools.

– These are schools where excellent teachers work, where excellent students go, and where these students are brought by excellent parents. They must have conditions to study in decent classrooms and gyms. We finance the construction, expansion and modernization of special schools in order to veto the absurd, ideological policy of inclusive education, he said.

Przemysław Czarnek during the ceremonial inauguration of the school year at the Special Educational Center in WęgrówPAP/Leszek Szymański

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He added that “we involve children in adult life, preferably in special schools, because we have excellent staff here.” – There are 151 teachers working in this school, well-prepared for this purpose, but we all need excellent working conditions and we find them – here in Węgrów, in Kozienice, in the Lublin poviat, in the Opole poviat, and in many other places where such schools are built – said Czarnek.

Dispute over the education of children with disabilities

In April, tvn24.pl journalist Justyna Suchecka described the dispute over the education of children with disabilities. The Ministry of Education, led by Przemysław Czarnek, defines inclusive education as “an approach in the process of education and upbringing, the aim of which is to increase the educational opportunities of all learners by providing them with conditions for developing their individual potential, so as to enable them to achieve full personal development tailored in the future.” their potential and full inclusion in social life.

READ PREMIUM TEXT: Czarnek on or off? A dangerous dispute over the education of children with disabilities

As Suchecka wrote, v PIS the issue of whether children with disabilities should go to mainstream schools has been lost. On the one hand, they want EU billions for so-called inclusive education, on the other hand, they are afraid of their radical voters who call it an “ideology”.

Last year, Małopolska’s education superintendent, Barbara Nowak, called inclusive education a “leftist utopia.”

READ ALSO PREMIUM TEXT: Should children with disabilities study with healthy students? “In the name of love for one’s neighbor,” asks Barbara Nowak

Another controversial intervention by a curator from Lesser PolandTVN24

Czarnek said in an interview with PAP at the beginning of April that “Polish special education is at the highest world level, we have excellent teachers and educators in these institutions, children with various diseases and needs can find the best help and care there.” He added: – Of course, there are also children whose illness or disorder is not serious enough to prevent them from attending public schools. The point is to make a rational decision, knowing the child’s condition and condition, and taking into account his or her needs and well-being, and not talk about ghettos. Let’s not stigmatize special schools – said the minister and argued that these schools would be subsidized by him.

The minister did not hide the fact that it was the money that was intended to convince parents to choose special schools. And he gave the facility in Kozienice as an example.

– Investments of this type will be what will convince parents that it is worth sending their child to such a facility – Czarnek said. – These are huge investments, from government money, no one has done this before, but now this program of investing in special education is ongoing. Not only that, if only war in Ukraine and related crises allow, we are planning a special fund that will be a source of funds for local governments and counties for such modern, beautiful schools, where children will find the best education and care – praised the minister.

Przemysław Czarnek on inclusive education

Przemysław Czarnek on inclusive educationMEiN

In none of his statements, the minister did not specify who he would see in special schools. Usually, there are children who go there who would not fit in mainstream schools even with additional support, e.g. due to multiple disabilities and diseases. Special schools are also established for certain disability groups, e.g. deaf or blind people study there, and in addition to standard subjects, the school is also prepared to teach sign language or Braille.

So far, parents have decided what is best for the child, usually after consulting a psychological and pedagogical clinic. Special schools are not crowded, due to the low number of students there, the problem is not finding a place for children who need such a school due to their disabilities.

What does inclusive education look like in Poland?

What does inclusive education look like in Poland?MEiN

“A good inclusive school is good for everyone, that is its strength”

Investments in special schools in the style proposed by Minister Czarnek worry specialists. Ph.D. Paweł Kubicki, a sociologist and economist from the Warsaw School of Economics, pointed out that such actions are often used against parents who would like to send their children to mainstream schools.

– Later they hear: “You have such a nicely renovated facility there, which doesn’t suit you” – he noted. And he added: – And w choice A school for a child is not just about whether the building is nice and the rooms are repainted. Mainstream schools often make efforts to discourage parents from enrolling their children with disabilities. They themselves start talking about how they are not adapted because they do not have a suitable ramp for the stroller, or they have never worked with a child on the autism spectrum before. They can’t, they don’t know. But how can they learn if they do not accept such students? The minister’s actions are sending a signal to the world: we know that special schools will be better for your children. It’s not about not investing in them, but about paying as much or even more attention to investing in mainstream schools so that they can become safe, friendly spaces for development and learning for all children and teenagers, he emphasized.

In an interview with tvn24.pl, Kubicki was afraid that the discussion about inclusive education would become more and more politicized, and some politicians would try to build capital in the election campaign on the fears of parents and teachers who fear that the presence of children with disabilities other than motor skills in classrooms , will affect the quality of education.

Kubicki emphasized that good inclusive education is a long and difficult process that requires the involvement of the entire school community. – Regulations are not enough. We need to convince the management, parents, teachers and students that inclusion is beneficial for the entire school community – the researcher told tvn24.pl. He added: – The way the minister and the probation officer talk about the case does not create this feeling. They even argue that the presence of any child with educational challenges is harmful to him and everyone else. Meanwhile, a good inclusive school is good for everyone, and that is its strength. There is a system for diagnosing challenges, prevention and early support. Meanwhile, instead of investing in inclusive education, i.e. teachers’ competences, understanding why some students do not cope at school and how the mechanisms of violence work, we choose the option of separating “problematic” students – he added.

Main photo source: PAP/Leszek Szymański

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