Ministry of Education, Guyana

Thursday, 28 September 2017 08:57

Special Schools Exhibition 2017 - MOE Special Education Needs Programme hosts innovative Exhibition

…Programme focused on preparing potential productive citizensnews 20170928 8

The importance of special educational needs came under the spotlight on Thursday at the first Special Schools Exhibition held at the Umana Yana, Kingston, Georgetown.
The event was organised by the Special Education Needs Unit (SEN) within the Ministry of Education and embraced the theme for Education Month 2017: “Promoting Wellness in Communities through Quality Education.”
There were a number of booths that displayed the creativity of the students who attend the special education needs institutions in Guyana. The items displayed included vases, picture frames, a display of agricultural planting techniques, artificial floral arrangements, paintings and wooden plaques. news 20170928 7
Those that were in attendance for the opening of the exhibition, were treated to soothing steelpan music by the Dolphin Secondary School Steel Band. In addition, students from the Georgetown Resource Unit for the Blind showcased their vocal skills by performing a song specially written for the event.
Delivering remarks during the opening ceremony was National SEN Officer, Ms. Savvie Hopkinson. She said the exhibition is happening at an opportune time and is an appropriate way to inform the public of the capacities and skills of students with Special Education Needs and Disabilities.
“It is a moment to signal to firms, companies, and their Human Resource Managers that students with special education needs and disability rightly belong to the employment pool and deserve to be considered without prejudice. It is a moment to illustrate that the end of education is the production of good citizens, capable individuals and confident persons skilled and prepared to contribute to their own wellbeing, their families, and communities.”news 20170928 5
In addition to the exhibits, Ms. Hopkinson said that there is an element that is often overlooked. This according to her, is the dedication of teachers and the determination of students through the encouragement of SEN officers and the community.
She said that every learning environment abounds with challenges and these challenges are multiplied when students are classified as having Special Educational Needs or with have disabilities. “These forces combine to create the results that we will view here today.”
Ms. Hopkinson went further to say that if creative compassion directs a minuscule number of contracts in the public and private sector then there will be a transformative impact on this specific category of students.
“This would give greater meaning to the intent of the Disability Act. It would display the effectiveness of the national education policy of inclusiveness and the educational philosophy of the right to an appropriate education since all citizens are valuable.”news 20170928 4
Lastly, Ms. Hopkinson postulated that all of the teachers and students of at the Special Education Needs institutions have one united message – “that they are longing for reliable, meaningful, stimulating opportunities to be creative and productive and to experience the satisfaction and meaningfulness that productive work brings.”
Meanwhile, Head of the Curriculum Department at the National Centre for Resource Development (NCERD), Ms. Sandra Persaud in her presentation said that the exhibition is one way of demonstrating how the children are developing and a means of evaluating academic progress and achievement.
Ms. Persaud re-committed her department’s efforts towards ensuring that every child has access to education without discrimination. Moreover, Ms. Persaud stated that the exhibition is a wonderful opportunity for parents, teachers, and students to gather and share ideas and experiences to improve lifelong learning. She said that over the last eight years with the establishment and growth of the SEN Unit a lot is happening regarding children being given the opportunity to showcase their talents. news 20170928 6
“There is even more focus on inclusive education which has supported children with disabilities in our country. We are ensuring that children with disabilities access primary and secondary schools that meet their needs. We also provide specialised and skills training to help children so that at the end of their career will be able to earn a decent livelihood.”
The institutions that participated in the exhibition on Thursday were the David Rose Special School, the New Amsterdam Special School, the Georgetown and Linden Resource Units for the Blind, the Sophia Special School, the Open Door Centre, the Harold B. Davis Special School, the Gifted Hands Learning School and Step by Step Foundation. (Murtland Haley)


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