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October 11, 2012

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Home » Metro » Education

Few schools serve disabled foreign kids

KATYA, a mentally challenged Canadian girl, has been studying tailor-made bilingual courses in the Shanghai Pudong Special Education School for five years.

The girl, 15, can talk with others in both Chinese and English thanks to individualized training.

The school is designated by the Pudong New Area Education Bureau to train disabled foreign children whose parents work or live in the area.

But many disabled foreign children aren't as lucky and are sent back to their home countries because of a lack of specialized services.

About 200 foreign children a year in Shanghai are unable to find proper educational facilities and many are disabled, according to Norman Lacey, an Australian educator specializing in expat education in Shanghai.

The city has no specific regulations about the education of disabled foreign children. Some districts provide special care services to the disabled foreign children, while most don't as they consider the children should go to international schools. Many international schools won't admit disabled expat children since they have no special education facilities.

Some companies have started education centers for the disabled children of expats, but they usually are very expensive and not supervised by education authorities.

The Pudong school's tuition costs only 3,500 yuan (US$556) for each semester. They have around five expat students every year, officials said.


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