JIS: The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information will be hosting a Special-Education Regional Round Table from January 24-26 at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston.
The conference will be held under the theme ‘Preparing Productive Citizens for an Inclusive Society: The Benefits of the Collaborative Process’.
It will target educational leaders and policymakers throughout the region, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Special-Education Coordinator for the event, Dr. Michele Meredith, said that the forum will bring policymakers, advocates and other stakeholders together to discuss the systemic, attitudinal and sociocultural issues that affect the sustained progress of efforts in special education.
“Discussions will be geared around the issue of whether Caribbean children and youth are sufficiently prepared for life beyond school,” she said.
Also to be explored is “the key collaborative relationships for the appropriate preparation of children and youth with special needs for life beyond school”, she added.
Topics for discussion are Legislation and governance: policy reform for access, equity and inclusion; Models of multidisciplinary support: advancing progress through the machinery of collaboration; Satisfying the development continuum: Early-childhood through post-secondary considerations; and Social public responsibility: ensuring focused giving for personal empowerment and sustained economic development.
Keynote speaker will be President and Chief Executive Officer of Miske Witt and Associates in the United States of America, Dr. Shirley Miske, who is an internationally renowned expert in inclusive education, educational quality, teacher professional development, and gender equality.
Other presenters include Professor of Child Health, Child Development and Behaviour, Professor Maureen Samms-Vaughan; Consultant Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist at the Child Guidance Clinic, Dr. Ganesh Shetty; Executive Director of the Jamaica Association for the Deaf, Dr. Iris Soutar; Chief Executive Officer of Digicel Foundation, Dane Richardson; and Director of Education Programmes of the Jamaica National iLead Project, Dr. Renée Rattray.
Dr. Meredith said the conference will mark the end of activities of the Special Education Project under the Education System Transformation Programme.
CAPTION: The Ministry of Education’s main office, 2 National Heroes Circle