Special needs education

‘Education designed to facilitate learning by individuals who, for a wide variety of reasons, require additional support and adaptive pedagogical methods in order to participate and meet learning objectives in an education programme. Reasons may include (but are not limited to) disadvantages in physical, behavioural, intellectual, emotional and social capacities. Education programmes in special needs education may follow a similar curriculum as that offered in the parallel regular education system, but they take individual needs into account by providing specific resources (e.g. specially-trained personnel, equipment or space) and, if appropriate, modified educational content or learning objectives. These programmes can be offered to individual students within already-existing education programmes or as a separate class in the same or separate educational institutions.’ (UIS-UNESCO, 2012: 83).

Special education is also defined as ‘classes or instruction designed for students categorized as having special educational needs.’ (UNESCO, 2017: 7).


UIS-UNESCO (UNESCO Institute for Statistics). 2012. International standard classification of education: ISCED 2011. Montreal: UIS-UNESCO. Retrieved from: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000219109

UNESCO. 2017. A guide for ensuring inclusion and equity in education. Paris: UNESCO. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002482/248254e.pdf
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