May 20, 2013
Minister of Education Mr Yuan Guiren
Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China
No.37 Xidan Dachangmu Hutong,
Beijing, China, 100816
Dear Mr Yuan Guiren:
Human Rights Watch is an independent international organization that monitors human rights in more than 80 countries around the world. We are currently preparing a report on the education of children and young people with disabilities, with a focus on investigating the extent to which the Chinese government has fulfilled its international obligations under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to ensure an inclusive education system at all levels. China’s Compulsory Education Law stipulates that “all children” who have reached the age of six go to school while theLaw on the Protection of Disabled Persons explicitly guarantees the right to education for people with disabilities and prohibits “discrimination on the basis of disability.”
We would appreciate your responses to the questions raised below, as well as any additional information you wish to provide us on this issue. Human Rights Watch strives to reflect all perspectives in our research and looks forward to your response. In light of our publishing schedule, we would be grateful to receive your response by June 10, sent to Sophie Richardson, China director, by email or by fax.
Thank you for your attention to this matter, and we look forward to hearing from you.
Human Rights Watch
- Are reasonable accommodations being provided in mainstream schools in China? If so, what kinds of accommodations are available in mainstream schools? Are such accommodations available across China or limited to certain areas of the country?
- Do teachers in mainstream school receive training in teaching students with disabilities? Do school administrators in mainstream schools receive such training? If so, does the Ministry have information about the percentage of teachers and school administrators in mainstream schools who have been trained in teaching students with disabilities? Does the Ministry have plans to ensure that all teachers and administrators in mainstream schools will be provided with such training, and if so, by what date?
- While Chinese regulations regarding disability and education stipulate clearly that there should be extra funding for students with disabilities in mainstream schools, educators and administrators told Human Rights Watch that there is insufficient or no such funding provided. Can you explain why that is the case? What is the amount of funding provided for students with disabilities in mainstream schools? What is such funding for? How is such funding allocated?
- Does the government have a clear policy on “inclusive education” (quanna jiaoyu)? If so, could you please give a detailed account of the contents of such policy?
- How many provinces and municipalities have established “resource centers” and “resource rooms” to provide support to teachers in mainstream schools who teach students with disabilities?
- What kind of outreach programs do you currently have to families with children with disabilities? Do these programs aim to inform people about educational rights, including their rights to inclusive education and reasonable accommodation? How do you ensure that parents are informed about their educational options, including information (such as cost, enrollment procedures) about accessing special education schools?
- What kinds of mechanisms are there to ensure that students with disabilities and their parents are involved in the decision-making processes at all levels of education?
- How does the Ministry of Education ensure that the evaluation of teachers of students with disabilities includes the performance of these students as required in Article 23 of the Provisional Measures on the Studying in Mainstream Schools Children and Young People with Disabilities?
- Has the Ministry of Education sanctioned any schools for denying admission to students with disabilities, or for pressuring these students to leave because of their disabilities? If so, could the Ministry give some concrete statistics about how many and which schools it has punished?