‘Robust attention’ to be placed on special education needs – Min Manickchand

…as sod is turned for aquatic therapy pool

Education Minister Priya Manickchand has said that “robust attention” will be placed on children with special education needs (SEN) in an effort to close the gaps on minorities falling through the cracks.
Her remarks came on the heels of Tuesday’s sod-turning exercise within the compound of the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) at Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, where a new swimming pool to serve children with special education needs is to be constructed. This project is being funded by businessman Teddy Mohammed of Mohamed’s Bookstore.
“There is going to be enhanced and robust attention paid to an area that we have not developed as much as we could have. It’s easy to be critical of us for not paying attention to children with special education needs, and we should be criticised for it; but we must take that into context too,” Minister Manickchand has said.

Minister Manickchand and other officials turn the sod for the new facility

“When you’re talking about trying to get every child into a primary school, and every child that exits primary school a secondary seat, it’s easy for minorities to slip through the cracks,” she explained
Manickchand has pointed out that the MoE is still struggling with some of the fundamental educational issues; and while solving those, is also looking at the more vulnerable groups.
In this revolution, the CPCE is now able to offer specialisation in SEN, ensuring that teachers who deliver education to these children are aptly qualified.
“We’re also looking at how we can provide much more access, and the new learning is not necessarily to build new facilities, but to have classrooms in more schools; so, even as we integrate our learners with persons without special needs, they will have space for them when they need reinforcement, because of the special education need each may have,” she relayed.
Minister Manickchand shared that every region should have adequate classrooms for SEN learners, and she has reassured parents of SEN children that resources would be available for their development.
“We believe there is a lot of work that we can do, and remains to be done, and I want to say to parents, ‘We have not forgotten you. I know how concerned you must be for your children who have health needs, and how you must worry more when you consider then growing up without any kind of training and skill. I’m saying that we haven’t forgotten you, and you’re going to see that in the adult your child will become’.”
Coordinator of the Regional Special Education Needs Disability Diagnostic and Treatment Centre, Keon Cheong, has added that an aquatic therapy facility adds to the concept of SEN-related services.
“Related services are the services needed to make an individual more functional in everyday living skills. As such, this initiative of having aquatic therapy being offered is something that is beyond our wildest imagination,” Cheong expressed.