PUTRAJAYA: The Education Ministry has registered a total 87,574 special education needs (SEN) students in Malaysia as of June 30, said its director-general Datuk Dr Amin Senin today.
Of the total, about 2,492 SEN students are currently under Special Education School (SES) and 68,874 SEN students in the Special Education Integrated Programme (SEIP); (967 students in preschool, 38,710 in primary schools and 29,197 SEN students in secondary schools), he added.
"We have altogether 162,018 SEN students in the Inclusive Education Programme (IEP) which consists of 247 students in preschool, 8,221 primary, and 7,740 in secondary schools.
"For the IEP, the numbers have increased yearly from 2013 to 2018. With great effort and disciplined execution of the inclusive education programme, we have observed a rise up to 50.5 per cent in SEN students' enrolment last year compared to 9.6 per cent SEN students in 2013," he said in his speech read by Education Ministry special education division director Datuk Dr Yasmin Hussain at the launch of the Special Education International Conference (SEIC) 2019.
Amin said the ministry is targeting 75 per cent of SEN students to enrol in EIP by the year 2025.
"By the end of 2019, we hope to achieve an increased number of up to 55 per cent within the IEP enrolment.
He added that the ministry's "Zero Reject Policy" (ZRP) which was presented to parliament, had received positive response from the government and parents of special needs children, as it has allowed them to enrol such children into government schools without difficulty.
Under the policy, Amin said special needs children are able to receive education corresponding to their individual abilities, either through mainstream schools via IEP, SEIP or in SES covering from pre-school up to secondary levels.
"Through the policy, we are also looking at equipping our schools with more accessible facilities, increasing number of inclusive schools, and placing more Special Education teachers in schools, among others," he added.
There is also an increase in the number of new students enrolling in government schools from Jan to June this year.
"As of January, the enrolment status of new students with SEN was around 5,468, comprising 4,977 students with SEN in primary and 491 students in secondary school.
"In April, the enrolment was about 10,948 SEN students (9,545 in primary, 1,403 in secondary), while in June, the enrolment rose up to 12,018 students (10,499 in primary and 1,519 in secondary).
Amin urged public and private sectors, non-profit organisations as well as academia to join hands in providing high quality education for future generations, including SEN students.