Raising the profile of differently-abled students

first_imgDear Editor,Traditionally, Guyana, like the rest of the Caribbean, does not have a good track record in regard to how it treats its disabled people. This issue only affects you when you have a disabled person in your family. Besides the guilt that you feel, you realise very soon that your disabled child is exactly the same as any other child, and your love for them is just as urgent and unconditional as that for your able-bodied children. However, you do worry about their future and how they would be able to navigate the modern world, especially as adults. This is not a sad story though, because I have noticed a real change in the education system, which will go a long way in providing disabled children an opportunity to learn and perform just as well as their contemporaries.The Ministry of Education seems to be putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to their mantra “Quality Education for ALL”.I have noticed three significant changes:1. The Ministry of Education’s work for differently-abled:1. The appointment of Special Education Needs officers in Regions 1, 2, 8, & 9.2. The Assimilation Centre in the grounds of the Cyril Potter College. This is the Caribbean wide early childhood diagnostic headquarters for the training of special needs teachers.3. Two nurseries opened recently, Eastville and Diamond No. 2 Nursery, which now include places for special needs children.All of these efforts prove that, at last, we have a Government that sees disabled children and understands that they have the right to be educated, and therefore have the opportunity to work in the real world and contribute to our society. If Sudha Chandran, Ray Charles, Whoopie Goldberg and Stephen Hawking can overcome their disabilities, then, with the right support, so can my child.Yours sincerely,Leon Persaudlast_img read more