Saudi Arabia: Pandemic Highlights Challenges of Special Needs Education

SourceAl Bawaba
SectorEducation
CountrySaudi Arabia

The shift to distance learning has been difficult for all children worldwide; however, it posed particular challenges for children with special needs, their families and their teachers. The shift to distance learning has been difficult for all children worldwide; however, it posed particular challenges for children with special needs, their families and their teachers. According to the Saudi Education Ministry's numbers in 2019, there are more than 76, 000 special needs students in the Kingdom. These students are eligible for special education services designed to help them succeed in school.

However, those services are not always easily transferred to distance learning or even in-person learning with social distancing. "While the pandemic has definitely had an impact on everyone, face-to-face learning or direct therapeutic services are very important for special needs and disabled children," Dr. Faisal Al-Nemary, chief operating officer at the Autism Center of Excellence (ACE), told Arab News. Despite the challenges, the sudden shift to virtual education had a bright side too, as more parents are involved in their children's educational process, and they are more aware of their role in helping their children improve their skills, said Al-Nemary, who is an ...read more...