Monday, June 4, 2012

My stand on Inclusive Education

What's inclusive education?

Quoting Wikipedia, Inclusive education is "an approach to educating students with special educational needs. Under the inclusion model, students with special needs spend most or all of their time with non-disabled students."

The notion is that, by allowing students with special educational needs to participate in classroom with other students who are not disabled, these students with SEN will fare better.

What is the issue?

There exists quite a number of premises that must be fulfilled before inclusive education would be beneficial.

(1) Teachers must be educated such that they know how to handle students with special education needs.

We are talking about a really wide range of knowledge that a teacher needed before they can conduct a lesson with these students with SEN. There are a thousand and one disabilities out there and these requires knowledge and input from speech, occupational and physio-therapists. And we are talking about three-to-five years of tertiary education here.

And then, the ability to deal with difficult case adequately is strongly correlated with center experience (in almost all sort of fields). Do you know why liver transplant in Hong Kong is only done in QMH? Do you know why we need to segregate hospitals into different levels of "trauma center" in the US? It has all to do with the center experience and center volume.

The more you do, the better you can do it. There's a reason why people are called "specialists".

(2) The classroom (i.e. teachers AND other fellow students) must extend to adapt to the need of the students who may be unable to receive traditional instruction without interrupting the class.

In the past, special education schools opened because people find that the traditional classroom was too rigid to adapt to the need of the students with SEN, and for the matter, there has been little change in the classroom situation.

and so on, and so forth.

Without these premises fulfilled, the situation of "inclusive education" in Hong Kong is more like dumping all those special students into schools of poorer academic performance, whether you like it or not...

Sunday, June 3, 2012

On the June 4th Incident...

It is almost time, and many colleague of mine had discussed with me on the possibility of exchanging a day of compensatory leave on the June 4th. They were trying to attend the June-4th memorial held in the Victoria Park (or something).

I have talked briefly on the trouble of democracy earlier on in this blog. 

Whereas I do have my admiration towards those who protested in the Tiananmen square in 1989, for their bravery and pursuit of their dream (of a democratic China), these memorials have been transformed into more of a political tool of the pan-democratic band than a memorial of the martyrs.

What I had even more trouble with is the churches that organized memorials for the June-4th event. If anything, they should hold memorials for the mass killings of:

(1) Egyptians firstborn sons (Exodus 11-12),
(2) Canaanites (Numbers 21; Deuteronomy 20), and perhaps also
(3) Amalekites (1 Samuel 15)

And then perhaps, for the Catholics, they could also consider holding memorials for

(1) People who died in the Crusade,
(2) Those who are butchered by the Canon laws because of holding a religious belief rather than Catholic, and
(3) The slaughtering of the Ancient Pagans, the Saxons who refused to convert, those who refused Church taxes all across europe in the middle ages, the so-called Heretics, Witches and so on...

I mean, these churchman holding memorials for the June-4th incident is just.. hilarious.