July 20, 2023
Special Education Policy in the United Arab Emirates: Knowledge and Implementation in Ras Al Khaimah
The United Arab Emirates has a bold and progressive special education policy that supports the inclusion of special education students, referred to in this paper as the determined ones and students of determination. The General Rules for the Provision of Special Education Programs and Services, an important policy document for educating students of determination, advocates that the “determined ones” remain in the regular classroom setting whenever possible.
This policy paper examines teachers’ knowledge of this inclusion policy as well as their perceptions of other school level inclusion policies. The research undertaken found no significant differences in knowledge or perceptions between and among Ras Al Khaimah teachers placed at government, international, and private schools. However, knowledge about the inclusion policy was low. Additionally, teachers expressed limited confidence that their schools could meet the needs of the “determined ones” in inclusive classrooms.
To bridge this gap, the authors discuss recommendations centered on teacher training and how such programs could impact field experiences in inclusive classrooms. Furthermore, suggestions are offered for school-based inclusion policies that can be developed by teams of teachers and school leaders to build teacher knowledge, the national policy, and teacher capacity to meet the educational needs of the “determined ones”.
Recommended citation: DeCarlo, M. J., & Ammar, A. (2023). Special Education Policy in the United Arab Emirates: Knowledge and Implementation in Ras Al Khaimah (Policy Paper No. 66). Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research.