PUTRAJAYA, Sept 26 (Bernama) — A total of 12,018 special needs students have enrolled into the public schools since the Education Ministry launched the Zero Reject Policy in January, said Education director-general Datuk Dr Amin Senin.

From 10,948 students in April, the enrollments had increased tremendously to 12,028 by June, comprising 10,499 students with special education needs (SEN) in primary and 1,519 in secondary schools, he said in his speech at the Special Education International Conference (SEIC) here today.

The implementation of Zero Reject Policy, which was made compulsory starting this year, was to ensure that all children in the country including those with special needs and undocumented children would have access to education, he said.

“The new policy which allowed the children to enroll in national schools without difficulty has received a warm welcome and brought joy to special needs children and their parents,” he said. His speech was read by Special Education Division director Datuk Dr Yasmin Hussain.

Under the policy, he said the students were able to receive education corresponding to their individual abilities, either through mainstream school via Inclusive Education Programme (IEP), Special Education Integrated Programme (SEIP) or Special Education Schools (SES) that offer pre-school years up to secondary level.

Amin said the Education Ministry had highlighted targeted strategies to drive the Zero Reject Policy into higher level, namely equipping the schools with more accessible facilities, increasing number of inclusive schools and placing more special education teachers in schools.

On another note, Amin said the ministry aimed to achieve 75 per cent target of SEN students enrolled in IEP by 2025 and currently was making good progress to achieve the target.

He said that from 2013 to 2018, the trend was increasing every year.

Amin said there had been a rise of 50.5 per cent in enrollment of SEN pupils last year compared to 9.6 per cent in 2013.– BERNAMA