The transition of students with SEND from rehabilitation centers to mainstream schools in the UAE
The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
Students with disabilities have had the opportunity to attend mainstream schools in recent years as a result of right-based policies and obligations. This has ensured equal access to education by meeting all of their needs and providing support to overcome their inherited barriers. However, due to a variety of complicating factors, some students are still left behind in special classrooms, such as rehabilitation centers (Abdat, 2020). Such centers were initially established to provide care and education to students with disabilities in order to prepare them to be socially and educationally integrated with their non-disabled peers. Many people have an impact on the transition from rehabilitation centers to mainstream schools, including educators, students, and parents. As a result, the purpose of this study was to investigate the factors that influence the transition of students with disabilities from rehabilitation centers to mainstream schools in the UAE. It covered three major topics: teaching practices in a rehabilitation center for transitioning students, challenges teachers face when transmitting to their students, and parents’ perceptions of inclusion and transition. The study was conducted using the qualitative method to provide descriptive data involving the feelings and thoughts of the participants. The data were collected using several approaches. Semi-structured interviews (10 parents), two focus groups (15 teachers), and four non-participant observations were used to collect data (4 teachers). Thematic analysis of parent interviews revealed the following issues: 1) difficulties with school enrollment, 2) a service gap, 3) anticipated threats, 4) the complexity of disabilities, 5) fears about the future. Furthermore, teachers revealed their difficulties in achieving a successful transition, which included 1) a curriculum hiatus, 2) inadequate compensation, 3) group collaboration, 4) the complexity of disabilities. Observations also revealed teaching methods used to prepare students for their transition. Finally, the study provides recommendations on the status of transition from rehabilitation centers to mainstream schools for students with disabilities.
transition, rehabilitation, teaching practices, teachers challenges, parents perceptions, United Arab Emirates (UAE), mainstream schools, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)