(Iran) Fourfold increase for SPED

June 21, 2017, (Iran) Financial Tribune: Fourfold Increase in Funding for Education of Special Needs Students As the cost of educating a child with special needs is four times that of a normal student, the Education Ministry has increased funding for special education fourfold to bridge the gap. According to Majid Ghadami, deputy education minister, there are about 130,000 children with special needs who constitute around one percent of the 13 million students at the primary, middle and high school levels. Mentally challenged children make up the majority requiring special attention. In the school year (started September 2016), more than 5,400 differently-abled students entered the first grade, of whom 224 were visually-impaired, 228 had hearing impairment, 150 had disability in walking or moving, 323 had autism or other emotional-behavioral complications, and 4,533 were mentally-disabled children. ... “Each year, 30,000 slow learning students are diagnosed under the education system in the country,” said the official. Slow learning students are those with an intelligence quotient of between 71 and 85 who suffer mental and health issues such as lack of attention and concentration, inability to generalize new information in similar situations (as in autistic children), articulation and language problems, physical illnesses, high fever, convulsion, malnutrition, and lack of confidence and self-esteem. The deputy minister lamented the lack of adequate personnel for special education needs which must be addressed through recruitment examinations at the national level, he stressed.