Special Needs Education in South Korea

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South Korean elementary school building
© Sebastian Czapnik | Dreamstime — South Korean elementary school building.

The South Korean education system, one of the best in the world, provides equal opportunities to education. When we talk about equality in South Korea, it is worth to mention that the government of the country supports all attempts to get an education, including the support provided for children from families with lower incomes and children with special needs. There is a Law No.13-1 of 2011 that says that Korean schools may not discriminate or refuse admission based on learning difficulties or special needs.

In it worth to mention that the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology provides children with physical and intellectual disabilities with free education. A child can get free education in South Korea from the age of 5 to 18.

There are 754 special needs schools across the country and 29 are situated in Seoul. The Korean Law states that there must be at leas one school for children with special needs in each province. Therefore, children with disabilities are mainly included in mainstream education.

If a child has some serious problems with health and needs to spend a lot of time in the hospital, it is possible to study online in South Korea.

To enroll a child at a school for special needs, few steps have to be made by parents. First of all, a child with a disability has to be registered at any local district office, known in South Korea as dong or gu. After the registration at the local district office, parents can choose a school and make an application.

It is important to know that not all international schools in the county cater for children with special needs, so it is always better to check with the relevant school.