Czech Professional Society for Inclusive Education files complaint against TV Nova over manipulative reporting
On 15 October the Czech Professional Society for Inclusive Education issued the following press release:
Dear Mr Chair of the Council on Radio and Television Broadcasting,
In the name of the Czech Professional Society for Inclusive Education and the Parents for Inclusion initiative we are contacting you to complain about TV Nova and the content of its 11 October broadcast of the program "Střepiny" ("Shrapnel") and its 12 October broadcast of "Television News". Both of these programs in their opening reportages focused on the topic of recent changes to the Schools Act and presented those changes in a way that was absolutely not objective or truthful.
These changes decidedly will not close the "practical primary schools", as was emphasized more than once in these programs, and the education system of the Czech Republic is not on the verge of "collapse". Things are precisely the opposite: Pupils with mild mental disability will enjoy better conditions for education in mainstream primary schools, should their parents desire to enroll them in such schools, as a result of these changes.
The option for children to be educated in schools that are established for pupils with mental disabilities is not restricted by the amended Schools Act. The amendment should, however, improve the conditions for educating all children with special educational needs, thanks to the fact that they will be entitled to support measures in both mainstream and special schools.
During the past three years an extensive catalog of support measures has been created within the framework of the project on "Systemic Support for Inclusive Education" that is available free of charge to all schools as a methodological support tool. We are in contact with many parents who welcome the planned changes, but their voices unfortunately were not heard in these reportages, even though we gave the editors responsible for producing them contacts to such parents.
We consider it absurd that reporters filmed an interview with a parent of a pupil who welcomed this change and then did not include that testimony in the reportage, as this meant the final reportage was absolutely biased. We also consider it absolutely manipulative and misleading to compare the performance of pupils in mainstream primary schools to the performance of pupils in "practical primary schools" in the undignified way that these reports did.
The academic experts, educators, nonprofit organizations and school principals who are advocating for these changes were not represented in these reports. We are of the opinion that these reports were produced very tendentiously with the aim of disparaging the idea of educating all children together in order to spark groundless panic among the public, and we therefore ask that this complaint be adjudicated.
Thank you very much in advance.
Klára Laurenčíková, Czech Professional Society for Inclusive Education
Kamila Mertová, Parents for Inclusion Initiative
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