Disabled children improve in both academic performance and social skills after being placed in ordinary schools, a report on integrated education says.
Integrated education is most successful in schools where headmasters are effective leaders and staff relations with parents are good, the report says.
A two-year pilot project on integrated education was tried at nine primary and secondary schools, placing 49 mentally or physically disabled pupils in ordinary classes. The project emphasises school-home co-operation, curriculum adaptation and peer support.
In an evaluation report to the Legco education panel, the Education and Manpower Bureau says: 'Nearly all the integrators made academic and social progress throughout the two years. Most parents were satisfied.' But it notes: 'While most teachers saw themselves gaining more confidence in mastering new instructional strategies, quite a number of them were unsure about their skills in co-operative teaching and meeting individual needs.' The Government wants 20 schools to adopt the integrated approach in the next academic year, and 40 by the 2000-01 academic year.