Ministry of Education, Guyana

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Friday, 07 July 2017 08:38

Special Education Needs Unit commissioned at Wales Primary School

(Georgetown, July 6, 2017) – As Region three (3) residents continue to bask in their recent achievements at the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA). Plans for continues progress are fast unfolding with a focus on Students with special education needs.

SEN 20170707 1Come September, students with Special Education Needs (SEN) in Region three (3) are to be afforded the opportunity to receive an education designed to meet their needs.

This development was made comes following assessments conducted by the National Special Education Needs (SEN) Unit in collaborations with the Regional Administration who renovated a section of the Wales Primary School to accommodate differently-abled students.

“Region three is taking the lead and setting the pace in Special Needs Education. You have become the third region, after Region 7 and Georgetown to establish a Special Education Needs (SEN) classroom/unit…you are therefore a leader and catalyst,” stated National SEN Officer, Savvie Hopkinson.

SEN 20170707 2Though Hopkinson dubbed the move as a little step in the journey towards improving the results of the education system, she, non-the-less posited that it is of major significance.

“When our country accepted the principle of the fundamental right of all students to a suitable education and the persuasion that all children can learn, although differently, it was clear that the SEN population would be given priority so that every child could attain the curriculum goals,” she posited.

In this regard, the Ministry expects that special accommodations and modifications within the educational framework of student goals will be made and such plans are expected to drive the educational system.

Hopkinson made it clear too that “the Ministry has not placed the burden of special education entirely on the shoulders of teachers.” Aside from the available resources accessible by teachers; the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) and the University of Guyana now graduate teachers who are exposed to special education modules.

“Today we must be convinced that while the task of educating the students with special needs is challenging, it is not insurmountable. The resources and help that schools need reside in the region as each region will soon have a resident SEN Officer as part of the Regional Education Department,” Hopkinson announced.

While addressing the parents, students, teachers and Regional Officials, Hopkinson did not negate to highlight the work done by teachers around the country to ensure their special needs students get the education they deserve.

“These teachers know that surrendering to the challenges students present is not an option and they believe that blame-casting is not a game they can play. To them education is a co-operative endeavour and success comes through collaborative work,” she stated.

Hopkinson articulated that while these efforts do not always culminate with all students progressing to attain top schools, it always results in the production of rounded and better citizens, equipped to adequately discharge their responsibility to society and lead fulfilling lives.

Regional Education Officer, Penelope McIntosh in her remarks noted that this is a proud moment for the Region as they can now deliver a holistic education in the Region.

This sentiment was endorsed by the Regional Executive Officer, Dennis Jaikaran who disclosed that the Region will not only have a SEN Unit but a contract will be signed shortly for the construction of a SEN School at Schoonord.

Jaikaran added that many teachers exist in the Region who go the extra mile to ensure that children with special needs are catered to in the classroom. The realisation of the SEN Unit at Wales Primary and the ultimate realisation of the special school will advance the steps taken by teachers, he noted.

While addressing the gathering, the REO commended the parents, Head Teachers, Teachers and students for their outstanding performance at the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) which saw Region 3 being recognised as the second best performing region. He added that a number of the students in the top one (1) percent are also from the region.

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