Even in an age where there is greater emphasis for equal opportunity and diversity, women and persons with special needs still face unequal access to education and training opportunities. This impacts their career prospects and impedes them from entering and excelling in high-paying sectors such as technology.
However, action is being taken to help these groups thrive in their careers. The UK-ASEAN Plan of Action aids girls in Southeast Asia , focusing on training their digital skills and providing technology education, and the Samagra Shiksha programme is the Indian government’s initiative to improve vocational education for children with special needs.
There has also been a greater emphasis on adapting teaching pedagogy to the needs of children with special needs (CwSN), by developing a curriculum that is suited to neurodivergent learners. Best practices detail that a neurotypical syllabus should not be assigned to CwSNs; instead, there should be a standalone syllabus catered to the learning pace of neurodivergent students. Second, it is important that teaching and evaluation practices are tailored to different learning requirements. Third, there should be more tools that assist these children in learning, such as Thinkerbell Lab’s Annie programme, developed to help visually impaired children independently and interactively learn Braille with less reliance on special needs educators.
To genuinely ensure equal opportunities for all, we should consider how to continuously refine education systems such that learning is equitable and empowering for everyone.