People with disabilities should be able to go to general schools, not be marginalized and have to go to special schools.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - General schools should include students with disabilities in learning activities so that they have other options beyond going to special needs schools, Secretary General of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Harry Hikmat, has said.

"Inclusivity should be understood as the existence of equality, or equality in opportunity," he remarked at a webinar held to commemorate International Disability Day.

"People with disabilities should be able to go to general schools, not be marginalized and have to go to special schools," he added.

General schools should prepare teachers who understand the needs of students with disabilities as well as education support facilities for such students, he advised.

In addition, families should encourage children with disabilities to go to general schools, if possible, he said.

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Currently, there are still many children with disabilities who are not well taken care of and do not have access to educational facilities, Hikmat informed.

"Many children with disabilities are abandoned. In addition to having disabilities, they are not taken care of, they are restricted to their home and they are even shackled," he said.

According to the secretary general, there are still parents who consider children with disabilities as taboo and hide their existence. As a result, government workers experience difficulties in carrying out data collection.

"What becomes a challenge for us is the limitation in information, knowledge, and parents' capability in taking care of children. If this is not adequate, then their development would be different than what we expect," he affirmed.

Earlier, Minister of Social Affairs, Tri Rismaharini, had lauded the newly-established National Commission for Disabilities that has been formed to help the ministry in handling problems encountered by people with disabilities in Indonesia. (

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Translator: Sanya Dinda, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Suharto
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