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Düsseldorf (dpa / lnw) - The Alliance for Inclusive Education in North Rhine-Westphalia accuses School Minister Yvonne Gebauer (FDP) of significantly restricting the access of children with disabilities to primary schools.

A decree issued by the Ministry of Education in February must be withdrawn, associations demanded on Friday.

The decree leads to further school routes for children with disabilities and poorer quality of teaching.

Like secondary schools, elementary schools should no longer accept pupils of all educational needs, but should only be approved for individual areas of focus. According to the decree, the school authorities should examine every elementary school to see whether it can be recognized as a “school of learning together”, said Bernd Kochanek, chairman of the association “Living Together, Learning Together NRW”. That contradicts the child's right to an inclusive education. This increases discrimination against children. The alliance called on Gebauer to ensure that all children with disabilities could attend an elementary school close to their home.

In addition, according to the decrees, the staff for inclusion in primary schools will no longer have to consist of special educators or teachers, but can be replaced by "specialists from other educational professions", criticized the alliance.

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Ayla Çelik, vice-chairman of the education union GEW, said the school ministry's alleged improvement in staffing levels through the decree was a «Potemkin village».

Because it is precisely in primary schools that the lack of trained special needs teachers is greatest.

According to the ministry's prognosis, there will not be enough special education staff by 2030.

Xueling Zhou from the state student council demanded that the prescribed corona tests should be carried out by medical staff, especially for students with disabilities.

Çelik said that children with special educational needs were "criminally neglected" for long stretches during the Corona crisis.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210423-99-325780 / 3

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