Ministry of Education, Guyana

Thursday, 08 May 2014 09:30

New Visually Impaired Resource Unit Commissioned

Special Education in Guyana got a major boost today when the Ministry of Education (MOE) commissioned the new Visually Impaired Resource Unit on Albert Street, Alberttown. During the brief but eventful commissioning ceremony, invitees were made aware of how vital this unit is to effectively equip students who are visually impaired with a quality education.

Delivering the feature address at the commissioning exercise was the Honorable Minister of Education, Ms. Priya Manickchand, who stated the MOE has the unfailing commitment of the PPPC Government, which faithfully promised to take special care of the special needs population in Guyana. “The PPPC in its run up to Election 2011 stated quite clearly in its manifesto that it will: ‘Strengthen the special needs education system, and ensure that those who are differently able are still empowered to achieve personal fulfillment and make a contribution to productive effort,’”  the Minister said.

The Minister further highlighted that the PPPC Government has continuously set about matching the words in its successive Manifestos with indisputable tangible actions. According to the Minister, the recently commissioned Harold B. Davis Special School and now this new Visually Impaired Resource Unit speaks loudly to the fact the Government of Guyana not only recognizes the need for improvements within the special education sector, but is ready to take decisive action to make those improvements a reality.

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Alluding to the soon to be published MOE’s Strategic Plan 2014 - 2018, the Minister emphasized that there are several key areas within the plan that caters specifically to the enhancement of special needs education. According to the Minister, within the plan period, the Ministry will be establishing a database for Special Education Needs (SEN) children, which will allow for the screening of children at the nursery level Year 1 and the primary Grade 1, as well as, conducting community-based child-find surveys of SEN children not in the school system.

“We at the MOE intend to see that SEN children’s access to educational opportunities increase within the plan period. This will be done through a multifaceted approach that will see us publicizing the policy guidelines for SEN children accessing educational opportunities, improving the quality of education service delivered by special schools, fast tracking urgent repairs and rehabilitation works to special schools and mainstreaming SEN children over the five-year period,” the Minister said. Access to basic work and life skills will also be enhanced as the MOE develops alternative learning paths for SEN children to acquire basic work/life skills.

Enhancing the quality of SEN teachers and SEN teacher education throughout the education system are also areas of strategic importance for the MOE according to the Minister. “Within the next five years, the Ministry intends to conduct a training needs analysis for SEN teachers; develop a plan for accessing specialist teaching; conduct ongoing professional development for teachers in mainstream programmes and special schools; establish a system of tracking teachers who have participated in continuous professional development; map out career paths for SEN teachers ad develop addendum to Curriculum guides to embrace SEN teaching strategies, and establish standards for assessing SEN children’s performance,” the Minister said.

The MOE will be reviewing its management structure in order to refocus for improved responsiveness to SEN education delivery.
The MOE believes strongly in equal opportunity, and as a result will strive to continue catering to all children of this nation in nondiscriminatory ways and in inclusive environments, that can bring out the best in our children.

Read 4091 times Last modified on Thursday, 08 May 2014 10:28
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