All together at school

By Margaux ColinLex Kleren Switch to French for original article

Making schools more inclusive and adapting them as well as possible to all pupil profiles is a way of life that some families have already adopted, and a daily struggle for others, in particular the ZEFI (Zesumme fir Inkusioun) association.

One of the objectives of the Luxembourg education system is to make schools more inclusive and to adapt as best as possible to all pupil profiles, thus enabling pupils with special needs to attend school alongside their peers.

Since the 2017–2018 reform, more than 700 posts have been created for this purpose. These 700 employees include teachers specialising in the care of pupils with special needs, support teams for pupils with special needs, and centres of expertise in special educational psychology.

The Lëtzebuerger Journal spoke to Laurent Dura, Director of the Department for the Education of Pupils with Special Needs, who explained that the aim of this office, which is attached to the Ministry of Education, is "to advise and support the Ministry in its policy on inclusive education and to act as a link between policy and practice". The emphasis is on including pupils with special needs in classes with their peers. Claude Meisch (DP), Minister for National Education, Children and Youth, has defined one of the main objectives of the 2017–2018 reform as being "to educate pupils with special needs in the same classes as their peers, at primary school or secondary school, where such inclusion is possible and desired by the parents". The Grand Duchy has accepted this challenge, with a considerable increase in the number of outpatient services, from 744 before the law of 20 July 2018 came into force to 916, reflecting a decline in specialised schooling and an increasingly inclusive situation for pupils.

This outpatient care is a considerable advantage for children with disabilities and their families. Pupils can be educated in non-specialist schools, which adapt to their presence. Tina Richard-Daemen can testify to this, as the mother of a little girl with multiple disabilities. Tina explains that her daughter's disabilities appeared at birth, as a result of a lack of oxygen before, during or after childbirth.

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