Language disorder specialists go into the classroom to make schools more inclusive
Photo: Neonbrand / Unsplash (CC)
Anna Torres Garrote
The Government of Catalonia will be hiring 1,500 professionals to make inclusive schooling a reality

The new Decree relating to education care for students as part of an inclusive education system, passed by the Government of Catalonia a few days ago, has highlighted the need to reinforce the vocational schools that can help students with special learning needs. Language disorder specialists and educational psychologists are now going into the classroom to help students who suffer a disability, a learning disorder or other intellectual disabilities, and who will now also go to ordinary schools.

In all, the Government of Catalonia will be hiring 1,500 professionals to make inclusive schooling a reality. Many of these professionals are school teachers and speech therapists who have chosen the UOC to study on the University Master's Degree in Learning Difficulties and Language Disorders, the most in-demand qualification in the Catalan university system. Last year, 719 students completed this training and will graduate between 4 and 25 November in Barcelona and on 11 November in Madrid. Since the master's degree was created, 1,518 students have graduated.

One of these is Ruben Vargas who, thanks to this degree, found work at the Vila-roja state school in Girona two months ago. He works in the areas of Hearing and Language, and Educational Therapy, where he has already detected children with language disorder problems. "Many of them swap letters and numbers around in some words or leave out complete syllables when they write. I refer most of them to the Educational Psychology Advisory Team". He adds that every teacher should take this course to acquire the knowledge demanded by inclusive schooling.

Irene Agea is a primary school teacher at the Gem school in Mataró, and also one of the students to graduate this year. "In the classroom, there's a wide range of needs among students that have to be met and the teacher needs to be trained to have the tools and knowledge to address them".

The case of Ester Rodríguez is different. She is a speech therapist but she works at the UManresa University Clinic. Her job is to detect children with difficulties in speaking, language, reading, writing and orofacial motricity. "The knowledge I've acquired has helped me to improve my care work".

Young, working woman: the typical graduate

Last year, in all, 4,622 students graduated. The average profile is a woman (60%), between 25 and 29 years of age (27%), who works (93% have combined work with study).

Some 77% state that the degree course has met their expectations (in fact, 85% would choose it again) and 76% say that it has enabled them to improve their work and personal skills (confidence level, autonomous learning, decision-making, new problem-solving, critical analysis, etc.) while the great majority, 89%, would choose the UOC again to continue studying.

After the University Master's Degree in Learning Difficulties and Language Disorders, the degree course with the second highest number of graduates is the Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Management (381), followed in third place by the Master's Degree in Legal Practice (305). Some 67% of graduates choose the degree course that they like, compared with 15% who do so with career opportunities in mind.

According to the latest study by the Catalan University Quality Assurance Agency (AQU) with regard to employment opportunities for graduates, the students who take online degree courses are more competitive in ICT, computer science and critical thought.

The report specifies that they have a higher level in theoretical training, written expression and the ability to solve problems, inter alia. This group also stands out for their higher level of employment, greater stability and higher salaries (over 2,000 euros a month) than university graduates as a whole. This is borne out by the U-Ranking of the BBVA Foundation and the Valencian Institute of Economic Research (Ivie), which places the UOC as the university in Spain with the most career opportunities.

Since the UOC was created 22 years ago, 53,053 people have graduated.

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