Education important for special needs kids to learn independence

I fully agree that children with special needs or disabilities need compulsory education too ("Speed up efforts to improve special education" by Mr Alvan Yap Boon Sheng; Aug 7).

It is time we updated our laws to keep up with the pace of society.

Every child, disabled or not, should be given the opportunity to go to school to learn and to develop his fullest potential, so that he can ultimately lead a life as independently as possible and be able to integrate smoothly into the community.

It would be difficult for schools to take appropriate action against parents who refuse to send their children with disabilities or special needs to school, if these children are exempted from the compulsory education law.

I am not downplaying the difficulties these parents may face, but we are helping them in the long run to prepare their children to be as independent as possible.

A good special education and training in work and social skills will help these children to achieve their potential.

I am sure schools and the various ministries will be willing to help these children go to school, be it mainstream or special education.

Eng Whan Seng