Duterte OKs instituting policy of inclusion, services for learners with disabilities
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure instituting a policy of inclusion and services for learners with disabilities.
Republic Act No. 11650 was signed on March 11, but a copy of the measure was just sent to reporters on Tuesday.
“It is the policy of the State to protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels and shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all,” the new law reads.
“It shall recognize, protect, and promote the rights of all learners with disabilities, including those belonging to ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities or persons of indigenous origin to education based on equal opportunity, make such education compulsory and accessible to them by ensuring that no learner with disability is deprived of the right of access to an inclusive, equitable, and quality education, and promote lifelong learning opportunities for them,” it added.
Under the measure, the Department of Education (DepEd), in collaboration with local government units, will initially establish and maintain at least one Inclusive Learning Resource Center (ILRC) of Learners with Disabilities in all cities and municipalities.
It also said that existing Special Education Centers shall be converted to and renamed as an ILRC.
The education agency is also tasked to issue policies and guidelines to protect learners with disabilities against neglect, abuse, cruelty or exploitation, bullying, and discrimination, among others.
The DepEd, in cooperation with concerned agencies, shall also develop formal training, orientations, and counseling programs for the learners’ family members, guardians, and care providers.
Below is the complete document of the measure.
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