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December 7, 2018

Training Programme Participants from Malaysia, now in Yokohama Learning from Japan's Efforts in Special Needs Education

Officials from the Ministry of Education and state governments as well as teachers from Special Needs Schools have arrived in Yokohama from Malaysia. To further develop the bilateral relationship with Japan, the Malaysian government has been promoting the LEP2.0 (the second wave of the Look East Policy[1]) since 2015.

As a part of the LEP2.0, this three-year training programme is implemented while sharing its cost between the two countries. In this programme, the following two major objectives are to be achieved: 1. To increase the pool of experts available to support students with special needs and 2. To ensure that teachers are adequately prepared to teach the 21st Century skills desired of Malaysia's students with special needs. In order for the participants to gain understanding about the Special Needs Education in Japan, the programme provides them with opportunities to visit relevant schools and organisations as well as to take lectures from specialists.


In Malaysia, the majority of children with disabilities are likely to fail to participate in the society due to lack of opportunities for school enrolment and employment. For example, access to the early intervention, which is crucial for detection of disabilities and provision of therapeutic care, is very limited and transition supports including employment support have not been provided adequately.

The theme of the second batch programme is "Establishing the transition support programme". The participants are to learn different types of supports offered for children with disabilities when they are enrolled in schools as well as when they are employed in Japan. This program consists of the series of lectures on Special Needs Education, assessment of disabilities and employment support as well as site visits to Hello Work and Vocational Training School for Persons with Disabilities. The participants can learn the transition support provided in Japan and, eventually, contribute to resolving the issues in Malaysia. A participant from the Ministry of Education in Malaysia commented that "Through this programme, I would like to learn about Special Needs Education in Japan and I am especially interested in supports provided by different ministries and local communities". Also, another participant, a teacher in special needs school, said that "While learning about efforts made in Japan through site visits and lectures, I also would like to establish good and long-lasting relationships with those people that I meet so I can exchange information even after the programme ends".


[Programme Overview]
Name of the Programme
LEP2.0 Attachment Program for Special Education Personnel of Ministry of Education (Second Batch)
From 11th November 2018 to 8th December 2018
Officials from the Ministry of Education in Malaysia, Officials from State Governments, and Teachers from Special-needs Schools (10 in total)

Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)


The Sustainable Development Goals are a set of detailed action guidelines that were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015. The SDGs are outlined in an outcome document titled "Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development". The agenda includes 169 specific targets grouped in 17 separate goals to be accomplished.

Of the 17 global goals set by the UN as part of the Sustainable Development Goals, this training course is expected to contribute to Goal 4 "Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all."


  • [1] The LEP(Look East Policy)is a policy announced by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 1981 in which Malaysia aims to foster its socio-economic development by learning from the Japanese work ethics, economic philosophy and success stories. The Malaysian government has started sending students and trainees to Japan and approximately 14,000 people have learned in Japan until today.


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