Hungarian ombudsman: education law amendment not affecting children with special needs
Contrary to statements from the opposition, the amendment to the public education law passed by parliament this week does not target children with learning disorders, the commissioner for educational rights, Lajos Aáry-Tamas, told MTI on Friday.
The ombudsman said that opposition critics of the amendment mix up the terms “children with learning disorders” and “children with integrational, educational and behavioural problems”. The former refers to children with disorders like dyslexia, dysgraphia or dyscalculia, which make it difficult for them to learn to read, write or count. These children will receive the same developmental care they have so far, the ombudsman said. Children with integrational, educational and behavioural problems could so far be exempted from having their work graded in certain subjects, an option that will be gradually phased out until 2030. Those starting school in 2018 will be able to finish school under the present legislation, which will be changed very gradually, Aáry-Tamás said.
The amendment aims to motivate the children, their families and their teachers not to “give up” but to work together to boost their performance, the ombudsman said. Several other measures facilitating a successful school carrier will stay in place, such as longer preparation times at exams and the possibility to choose oral exams over written ones, he said.
The amendment came as the result of a two-year cooperation with experts, the Gusztáv Bárczi College of Special Education and the bodies responsible for special needs diagnostics among them, Aáry-Tamás said.