Mendive. Journal on Education, april-june 2022; 20(2):464-477
Translated from the original in Spanish
Preparation in Special Education of psychologists, through the comparison between Cuba and Mali
Preparación en Educación Especial de los psicólogos, mediante la comparación entre Cuba y Mali
Preparação em Educação Especial de psicólogos, através da comparação entre Cuba e Mali
Ahmadou Maiga1 http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4613-0180
1University of Letters and Human Sciences of Bama-Ko-Mali. Department of Psychology. Mali. email@example.com
Received: December 17th, 2021.
Accepted: February 28th, 2022.
Facing the current challenges which are nowadays even worse due to COVID-19, the relationship between science, technology and innovation is the basis of social impacts so that the local and human development. Such a premise holds the achievement of Sustainable Development Objectives which are content into 2030 Agenda. For all the graduates at Cuban universities who are in Mali, a comparison between the contributions of both countries is a starting point to take a scientific position and for contributing to the country where they live. Coming from this necessity, this work was done and its objective is to reflect about differences and common elements between the Special Education in Mali and Cuba, so that the roll of Psychology Specialty in the process of contributing to the human development and the social transformation needed for the diversity attention. The qualitative investigation was sustained in theoretical and empirical methods based on an autobiographical narrative design. As a result, it was found that since there are no teacher training programs in Special Education in Mali, the study plan of the Bachelor of Psychology in Mali encourages intentionally influencing the educational attention to diversity.
Key Words: diversity attention; human development; local development; Special Education; professional formation; Psychology.
Ante los desafíos actuales, complejizados por el enfrentamiento a la pandemia por COVID-19, la relación entre la ciencia, la tecnología y la innovación es la base de los impactos sociales y el desarrollo humano y local. Tal premisa sustenta la consecución de los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible contentivos en la Agenda 2030. Para los graduados universitarios en Cuba, que se desarrollan en Mali, estudiar comparadamente los aportes de ambas naciones constituye un punto de partida para la toma de posición científica y la contribución al servicio del país en que se vive. Derivado de esta necesidad se realizó este trabajo, que tiene como objetivo determinar los elementos comunes y diferentes de la Educación Especial en Mali y Cuba; así como el papel de la carrera Licenciatura en Psicología en el proceso de contribuir al desarrollo humano y la transformación social que se necesita para la atención a la diversidad en Mali. La investigación cualitativa se sustentó en métodos teóricos y empíricos basados en un diseño narrativo de tipo autobiográfico. Como resultado se pudo constatar que, al no existir programas de formación de maestros en Educación Especial en Mali, el plan de estudio del Licenciado en Psicología propicia incidir intencionalmente en la atención educativa a la diversidad.
Palabras claves: atención a la diversidad; desarrollo humano; desarrollo local; Educación Especial; formación profesional; Psicología.
Diante dos desafios atuais, tornados mais complexos pelo enfrentamento da pandemia da COVID-19, a relação entre ciência, tecnologia e inovação é a base dos impactos sociais e do desenvolvimento humano e local. Tal premissa apóia o alcance dos Objetivos de Desenvolvimento Sustentável contidos na Agenda 2030. Para os graduados universitários em Cuba, que estudam no Mali, estudar comparativamente as contribuições de ambas as nações constitui um ponto de partida para uma posição científica e contribuição a serviço da o país em que se vive. Derivado desta necessidade, foi realizado este trabalho, que visa determinar os elementos comuns e diferentes da Educação Especial em Mali e Cuba; bem como o papel da licenciatura em Psicologia no processo de contribuição para o desenvolvimento humano e a transformação social necessária para a atenção à diversidade no Mali. A pesquisa qualitativa fundamentou-se em métodos teóricos e empíricos baseados em um desenho narrativo autobiográfico. Como resultado, verificou-se que, uma vez que não existem programas de formação de professores em Educação Especial no Mali, o plano de estudos do Bacharelado em Psicologia incentiva a influenciar intencionalmente a atenção educacional à diversidade.
Palavras-chave: atenção à diversidade; desenvolvimento Humano; desenvolvimento local; Educação especial; formação profissional; Psicologia.
The 2030 Agenda, as a civilizing agenda, puts the dignity and equality of people at the center. Being ambitious and visionary, it requires the participation of all sectors of society and the State for its implementation (United Nations, 2016). Keeping our eyes on the Sustainable Development Goals in the face of the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic is a challenge, considering that the reality of many countries was already difficult before its arrival.
The Republic of Mali is the seventh largest country in Africa, bordering on countries such as Algeria (north), Niger (east), Mauritania and Senegal (west) and Ivory Coast, Guinea and Burkina Faso (south), with an area total of 1,240,000 km 2. A population of 19.6 million (44% urban) is estimated, mostly Muslims (94%), with little presence of Christians (3%) and equal representation without a defined creed. Despite the management of its wealth (oil, construction materials, textiles, gold), it is a country in a complex political, social and economic condition, which has worsened with the presence of the new corona virus (Diplomatic Information Office, 2018).
With a child population considered high (approximately 47.6%), Mali, considered one of the poorest countries in the world and in armed conflict, has explicitly declared in its legislation and international treaties its will as a nation to protect children, a fact that brings it closer to the achievements obtained in Cuba. It was one of the first countries to ratify the International Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (Diallo and Diaz, 2016).
Although it is true that Mali and Cuba belong to two different continents, Africa and America respectively, with a very different cultural socio-historical configuration, the nations have maintained fruitful diplomatic relations since 1960 and, although only for a few years, socialism was established in Mali as a social system after its independence from France in 1960 (Diallo and Diaz, 2016).
The possibility of studying a Degree in Defectology (current Special Education) in Cuba in a period between 1995-2000 and of pursuing academic studies between 2001-2003 and 2011-2014, respectively, has allowed to have a historical-cultural experience that allows, through critical analysis, the contrast of two different realities that can contribute ideas, initiatives to human development and the social transformation of each context.
On the contrary, in Malian territory there is no Bachelor's degree in Special Education. The closest possibility of its opening was in relation to the University of Grenoble, France (University Institute of Technology). As part of the work agreement, the career was to be opened as part of the Psychology department, as it had personnel trained in most subjects; however, it did not materialize due to consequences derived from the 2012 coup.
Authors like Bouaré and Caballero (2007), as well as Diallo and Díaz (2016), have made determinations of distinctive and coincident features between concrete realities of Cuba and Mali. Even when they do not openly refer to attention to diversity or to Special Education specifically, they constitute antecedents whose contributions have made visible important elements for decision-makers and public policies in Mali.
The possibilities of positively influencing the Malian social variety, from the University of Letters and Human Sciences of Bamako (ULSHB), specifically from the Department of Psychology, motivated the realization of this work that aims to determine the common and different elements of Special Education in Mali and Cuba; as well as the role of the Bachelor's degree in Psychology in the process of contributing to the social transformation that is needed for the attention to diversity in Mali.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The qualitative research is based on an autobiographical narrative design. It was based on methods of the theoretical level, such as the historical-logical, content analysis in its theoretical variant and methods of the empirical level, such as the interview with five professors of the Special Education career at the University of Pinar del Río "Hermanos Saíz Montes de Oca" in Cuba; of them, 100% Doctors in Pedagogical Sciences and Professors, who meet the condition of having shared different moments of the author's continuous training and have remained linked to Special Education until today. The fundamental objective of the interview was aimed at assessing the objectivity of the analyzes carried out by the author based on the methods applied.
The review of documents was also carried out, which support the training of professionals in both countries, as well as other documents of the author of the periods of past times in Cuba and the updating of these in the face of changes in the study plan and the new reality that faces Special Education in the Greater Antilles.
Special Education in Mali: starting point for a cultural and professional exchange in Cuba
Previous studies (Maiga, 2021) allowed systematizing that Special Education in the Republic of Mali is a relatively recent phenomenon. Its beginning can be located in the early 60s of the last centuries, when it gained independence from the French metropolis. However, it was not until October 15, 1973 that institutionalized Special Education began, with the opening of an experimental class made up of six blind students in the Bamako district town hall. This experimental class would take the name of the Mali Institute for Blind Youth (IJA) in 1976.
Despite this, the development of care for students with disabilities with an inclusive and legislative approach took time; it did not arrive until 1992, with the signing of the new Constitution that explicitly declared its determination to defend the rights of women and children, as well as the cultural and linguistic diversity of the national community.
For your attention, Mali currently has a total of 22 schools and/or care centers for people with disabilities. The Special Education institutions or special schools are, for the most part, the work of associations of people with disabilities, among which we can mention: Union Maliense of the blind people (UMAV), Maliense Association of the Deaf (AMASOURDS), Maliense Association of Struggle Against Mental Deficiencies in Children (AMALDEME), the Malian Association of Trisomy (AMT) and the Malian Association of People with Physical Disabilities (AMPHP), among others.
However, in recent decades there has been a government interest that started from a baseline study on Special Education in Mali through the Ten-Year Program for the Development of Education and Vocational Training (PRODEC) between July and August 1996. In This same year, the National Policy Document on Special Education was drafted: Ministry of Basic Education and National Directorate of Preschool and Special Education (MEB/DNEPS).
Successively, in December 1999, the National Assembly approved the Education Orientation (Framework) Law (Law No. 99-046), as amended, relating to the Education Framework Law, which contains provisions on Special Education and secondary inclusive education. (Articles 30, 46, 47 and 55). In August 2002, the diagnostic study on the educational situation of children with disabilities from 0 to 15 years of age was carried out in Kayes, Kita, Mopti and Bamako district, in collaboration with the United Nations Children's Fund. (UNICEF) in Mali. In contrast, Cuba, given the personal experience of the author (1995 and 2014 indistinctly), has been able to demonstrate the scientific development and improvement of Special Education in the Caribbean nation. Among the positive Cuban aspects to be highlighted with respect to the Malian reality are: the establishment of a coherent political will and an internal balance in the functioning of the Ministry of Education, with respect to its policies and practices, a growing social participation in development educational study, the psychosocial study of people with disabilities and psycho pedagogical, social and clinical-genetic study of people with mental retardation (current intellectual disability) in Cuba, which revolutionized the way of seeing disability and promoted intersectorality as a style of participatory work.
Training of professionals in Bachelor of General Psychology: their preparation in Special Education
Unlike Mali, Cuba has experienced Special Education, organized transversally at each educational level, educational services and specific Special Education institutions. Currently, the search for higher standards of educational inclusion is an objective of the III Improvement of Education in the National System of the Republic of Cuba. To face the challenges in the specialized educational field, the training of professionals is a priority of the Ministry of Higher Education.
The arrival in Cuba of the only Malian graduate of Special Education on the Caribbean island occurred in 1995, at that time the career was called a Bachelor of Defectology, given the influence of the former Soviet Union in the conception of the specialty. Later, in 2001, modifications were made to Curriculum C and with this the change to a Bachelor's Degree in Special Education was made, with duration of 5 years and a more defined disciplinary conception.
At present, the training of Cuban professionals goes through the four-year Study Plan E. The need to work for the essentiality of the contents and a coherent interdisciplinary articulation mediated by the link between academic, labor, research and extension training appears. This is possible due to the birth of the Investigative Labor Training discipline. As a result, the student faces several integrative exams in their training and a course investigation that may or may not become a completion of studies exercise (Ministry of Education, 2016).
In contrast to this reality, Mali does not have a training program for Special Education professionals throughout the national territory. The few specialists who work in the country are foreign graduates, only one in Cuba. Given the need to offer an educational response to the barriers to participation and learning, the graduates who work in the country have influenced and inserted subjects in the training programs of the National Institute of Social Workers and the University of Letters and Human Sciences of Bamako (ULSHB). Only as university students, the Special Education subject is offered in the Bachelor's degree in Education Sciences and in the Bachelor's degree in General Psychology.
Although it is true that both programs affect public institutions of Special Education, the role of transformation and specialization of the psychologist is very broad, especially because when talking about attention to diversity; it goes beyond disability and they face conflicts of an armed, ethnic, religious, cultural nature, in a general sense. On many occasions, the combination of effects can constitute a great challenge for the family and educational care in general.
The Bachelor of General Psychology in Mali, unlike most undergraduate programs in Cuba, is governed by academic credits that correspond to 180 credits with 3600 hours) and is organized in six semesters, each semester composed of 30 credits that entail at 600 hours. (Direction Nationale de l'Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique, 2016). The conception of the program is modular and not disciplinary, as in the Cuban case.
In the search for improvements in the training of Malian psychologists, changes were conceived. Before 2014, the study program was four years, now it is six semesters. Currently there is no final course work, but a semester course; although research occupies a percentage of representative hours in the study plan, considered "student personal work" (670 hours). As in Cuba, this represents a percentage of each course time pool, including Research Methodology (Direction Nationale de l'Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique, 2016).
Specifically, in terms of Special Education, the psychologist trained in Mali receives a subject of the same name that offers four academic credits and is distributed in 40 hours of lectures, 20 hours of practical work and the same amount of personal work by the student. Within the academic component, students receive the content grouped into seven chapters: "Introduction to Special Education", "History and Policy of Special Education in Mali", "Didactics and learning theories for different categories of disability", " Didactics", "Management of an inclusive classroom", "Directed work" (case studies) and "Practical work".
In Cuba, in a certain way, all these areas are deepened, as it is the essence of the professional they train; however, they also include studies of human talent, didactics for its management in the classroom and organize the practice closely linked to the academic content, synchronously with the research. This conception is observed in the subjects and towards their intra and interdisciplinary relationships. In Mali, even when it is foreseen in the background of time, a cohesive response in the training of professionals has not been achieved, with the loss of intentionality; Of course, the effects that this causes in educational practice are not as fast as expected.
Also coinciding is the joint work with the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Humanity &Inclusion (formerly Handicap International), which has been in charge of training local actors, professionals and education personnel, in terms of Special Education with a focus on community-based rehabilitation. As part of their actions, the trainers have received topics related to disability, accessibility and inclusive education.
The development of academic programs directly linked to specialization is also distinctive of Cuban education. The author's experience in the Master's in Special Education, directed by the Latin American Reference Center for Special Education (2001-2003), validates the high scientific rigor of the science that engages and transforms. Programs of this type are currently being developed in other provinces of the country; as well as courses, diplomas and training.
Given these coincident and contrasting elements, validated by the lived experience and the update published in primary research sources, the need for the presence of a Bachelor's degree in Special Education in Mali is increasingly evident; however, while this does not happen and as an additional achievement, the careers that receive preparation in Special Education must gain in the coherence of their conception and the linking of theory with Malian practice.
It would be convenient to point out that, along with the analysis of attention to disability, in Mali there are other underlying problems that threaten attention to diversity in all its manifestations. Among the main drawbacks we can mention: the lack of equity in access to education, in many cases privatized; the presence of social exclusion of the so-called street children, the abandonment of schooling by girls for cultural or religious reasons still persists; the obligation to interrupt studies due to displacement associated with armed conflicts, among others (Diallo and Díaz, 2016). These exemplifications illustrate the complex scenario that Malian education is experiencing in the search for inclusion, not only educational but as a social phenomenon.
A study carried out by the WHO and the World Bank (2016) reveals that in Mali there are 2,247,500 people with disabilities. For its part, the UNICEF report (2015) shows that the primary school attendance rate in Mali is 67% for boys and 60% for girls. It is estimated that the rate of children with disabilities (ESH) is 15%. The report reveals that the educational system in Mali lacks the conditions to care for children with disabilities.
Given the armed conflicts, displacements, migrations and internal situations, the most reliable statistical studies are concentrated in the regions of Kayes, Koulikoro, Sikasso, Ségou, Mopti, Tombouctou, GAO and the District of Bamako. The enrollment of children with disabilities by region is estimated at a total of 10,766 infants, of which 6,532 boys and 4,234 girls.
For its part, Cuba has more experience in the educational field and also in the area of Special Education. A recent comparison between some fields of Special Education in Cuba and the United States illustrated how much Cuba has done after 1961, the year in which the Literacy Campaign ended, and 1962, when differentiated education was officially born, current Special Education; just as it can, despite the problems it faces, signify an important learning perspective from which many countries, such as the North American, can benefit (Shelton, Kelly, and Sánchez, 2020).
This has been possible because Special Education in Cuba has evolved as a result of a pedagogical experience of more than 55 years. In the current Antillean conception, a broad vision of the contexts in which educational care operates is offered, emphasizing the individualized and differentiated character for the solution of different problems, needs of a population with certain variations of development (Triana and Fernández, 2019).
In legal terms, it is also very important to analyze the documents that govern the protection of children, especially those that present a situation of disability, in the case of Mali the legal panorama is very young, approximately after the year 2000 (Diallo and Diaz, 2016). In the case of Cuba, its institutionalism had a positive turn after 1959, whose materialization was in line with the most humanistic positions at the international level. It is worth highlighting the treatment that the new Constitution of the Republic of Cuba, approved in a popular referendum in 2019, offers to family, childhood and disability; As a result, the National Commission for the follow-up and monitoring of the application of the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Council of Ministers, 2021) is implemented, which works jointly with all the sectors of each territory, this includes the Ministries of Education and Ministry of Higher Education.
However, in Mali, despite sharing the same international commitment, endorsed in the same international documents, of which Cuba is a signatory, there are underlying sociocultural factors that transcend the implementation of State law. As documented by Diallo and Díaz (2016, p. 118): "although there is a legal framework, in practice there are no sanctions because the cultural becomes stronger than the legal. The family has all the power over the children and the State intervenes little in family affairs".
In the current moments, in the educational variants to face COVID-19, Cuba has been an example of and for the world (MINED-UNICEF, 2020). Mali, which has not escaped this pandemic reality, has faced the educational challenge; however, the cost in equity and accessibility for all has been high. The truth is that, in order to positively influence social reality, the aftermath of the armed struggle, ethnic and religious conflicts, the fight against COVID-19 and other health problems, it is necessary to influence the preparation and training of professionals to contribute to human development and the locality where they live.
With the distance established by the differentiation between the Degrees in General Psychology in Mali and the Degree in Special Education, in Cuba, there are coincident points in the study programs linked to the understanding of human development and attention to diversity. Among the most obvious similarities are the presence in the study programs of both specialties of General Psychology, elements of Clinical Psychology, psychological currents, psychic processes, cognitive psychology, Developmental Psychology, elements of adaptive functions, School Psychology, elements of neuropsychology, Personality Psychology, Psychotherapy, elements of neuroscience, Introduction to Special Education and elements of psychopathology (Direction Nationale de l'Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique, 2016;Ministry of Higher Education, 2016).
For its part, in Cuba, the NGO Humanity &Inclusion has accumulated more than 20 years of experience in various provinces, developing community-based rehabilitation programs. One of the provinces with community results is Pinar del Río, whose project covers seven of its 11 municipalities. However, given the intersectoral nature, the systematization of experiences and the results achieved, the training of trainers for community-based rehabilitation has been taken to undergraduate programs, specifically to the Bachelor of Speech Therapy and Bachelor of Special Education degrees. The foregoing reinforces the role of the university as a social transformer and constitutes an important element of sustainability by organizing practical experiences as part of a scientific, conscious, planned, contextualized and organized teaching-learning process in projects (Cala, Sánchez and Cala, TY, 2021).
A common challenge for the universities in which the author's professional life has developed is accessibility, the internal response to diversity, the universal design for learning that have been the result of many years of operation based on more generalizing conceptions. Both the University of Letters and Human Sciences of Bamako in Mali, and the University of Pinar del Río "Hermanos Saíz Montes de Oca" in the face of the confrontation with COVID-19, share lessons that can model more inclusive higher education institutions for all and all (Puentes and Sánchez, 2021).
In different geographical and cultural contexts, Cuba and Mali share the vision of improving the future of their children with equity. With a mature Special Education, the Greater Antilles shows growing achievements by conceiving it as a philosophy and uniting institutions in the search for greater attention to diversity, with an intersectoral character, networking as part of the constant improvement of their education. In contrast, Mali has not achieved the desired speed in the specialized educational response and competes with it, the search for peace, the solution of conflicts and the preparation of families who have sometimes been stuck in cultural conceptions that prevent the access and development of boys and girls, with a higher incidence if there is a disability.
Cuba continues to show that it is committed to educational development, despite the challenges imposed by the Greater Antilles. Its participation in the training of specialists from various countries places it as a beacon for the transformation of many educational environments. The need to contribute to continue improving universities as entities responsible for the social transformation of social environments makes us dream that, in a "new reality" post-COVID-19, there may be a more inclusive Mali.
The text prepared so far was submitted for evaluation by five Doctors in Pedagogical Sciences and Professors, who consider the analyzes objective in terms of levels of updating, relevance and adjustment to the Cuban reality.
Studies published online, which have involved Cuba and the Republic of Mali, are considered scarce. Among the authors consulted are Bouaré and Caballero (2007); Bouare (2008); as well as Diallo and Díaz (2016). In their studies, the value that Cuba represents and its legacy as an example for the transformation of the Malian educational system care for children and the impact that this process should have on training is compatible.
The criterion of Bouaré and Caballero (2007) about the value of studying Marti's work in the context of Malian education is shared. In the first place, the universality of José Martí's thought is recognized and, secondly, the analyzes carried out by the authors illustrate the need to prepare men and women for life, the responsibility of education in the development of the nation, the authenticity of education according to the reality of the country and not foreign impositions; as well as the role of the teacher in the formation of the new generations.
In line with the above, Bouaré and Caballero (2007, p. 134), referring to Martí's ideology, conclude: "education is a work of great humanism and a sure instrument of freedom and taking these ideas into account can contribute to the improvement of the system education in Mali. Considering the analysis carried out by the authors, it is necessary to delve into new research on Martí's validity in the analysis of attention to diversity in Mali and how it should impact Higher Education.
It also agrees with Bouaré (2008) that social factors influence the existence of a crisis in Higher Education in Mali; despite recognizing the time that is far from the publication to the present, the changes in social and educational practice have not been significant. At the same time, it continues to be a challenge for Malian Higher Education to radiate a social impact outside the capital. The aforementioned author states:
Mali is organized around the University of Bamako, which has different branches or large faculties, functioning as autonomous centers (it is worth noting that all these centers are located or concentrated in the capital of Mali, so the deconcentration of higher education or the extension from it to the rest of the country is a great challenge that is currently imposed on the Malian State) (Bouaré, 2008, p. 75).
At present, the concentration of Higher Education continues in the capital, Bamako; aspects inherent to education, as is the case of attention to diversity, continue generally under the will of non-governmental organizations such as Unicef and Humanity & Inclusion. The study carried out demonstrates the need to pay attention to the Cuban practice, to incorporate the experiences of the Humanity &Inclusion social programs, into the undergraduate and postgraduate training programs, as suggested by Cala, Sánchez and Cala, TY, (2021).
More related to inclusive processes, linked to diversity, is the analysis by Diallo and Díaz (2016), who identify the quality of child care in Mali as a prolonged lethargy and how an intersectoral system is required, which includes education, to increase the effectiveness of the child care and prevention system. In the study " Mali and Cuba: convergences and divergences in the protection of children", the advances in education, prevention and criminalization of Cuba with respect to Mali, in the protection of children and the role of the Revolution are recognized and shared Cuban, after 1959, in this process.
It coincides, as a result of the study that is presented, how the State must have a decisive participation in the politics of universities at the service of social transformation, while government programs are responsible for carrying out actions to prevent and mitigate internal crises, social conflicts that threaten the development not only of Higher Education programs, but in attention to diversity as a platform for an inclusive society.
The study carried out shows coincident and divergent elements that constitute starting points for decision-making by authorities and managers, both in universities and in education in the Malian territory. The need to deepen research with the application of comparative education is recognized, which has made it possible for Cuba to have developed a Third Improvement of the National Education System and to continue busy interpreting educational facts, as a way to explain the direction of education and future educational changes (García, Rodríguez, and Addine, 2020). However, it is considered pertinent, since key points for joint work between countries are evident as part of the internationalization strategy of the universities involved in the study.
The author's experience in Cuba allowed making assessments and updates that make it possible to affirm the high standard in continuous training in Special Education, both for specialists and other professionals involved in educational care; Likewise, the disciplinary conception, the presence of the Investigative Labor Training discipline, which unites the academic, the labor, the investigative and the extensionist with intentionality based on the educational reality of the locality where they are developed. In Mali, with the aim of contributing to social transformation in attention to diversity, the General Psychology Degree shares several basic subjects for this purpose, and incorporates the Special Education subject as part of the curriculum; however, the relationship between teaching, practical preparation and research interests do not have the desired coherence.
In a general sense, both the University of Letters and Human Sciences of Bamako in Mali, and the University of Pinar del Río "Hermanos Saíz Montes de Oca" face the same challenges regarding the access of people with disabilities to their study programs, the existence of barriers and the preparation of the non-graduate faculty of Special Education for the attention to diversity. For its part, Mali is an example of the incorporation of Special Education into different study programs of other specialties such as Educational Sciences and the Institute of Social Workers, a fact that in Cuba is left to the decision of the teams of each career.
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