JIS: A special education unit has been established at Chetolah Park Primary School in Hannah Town, to cater to the needs of primary-age children attending that and other institutions in western Kingston who have learning and other developmental challenges.

 

The centre, which has been named the Chetolah Mel Nathan Special Education Unit, consequent on a merger initiated with the neighbouring Mel Nathan Preparatory School, results from a Ministry of Education, Youth and Information study revealing the need for such a facility in the region.

 

Its establishment was spearheaded by the Ministry, in partnership with the Digicel Foundation, which refurbished and outfitted the unit at a cost of over $13 million.

 

Key among its features are four refurbished classrooms and bathrooms; an assessment room; an access ramp for youngsters in wheelchairs; multimedia projectors; mimio tools, which transform whiteboards into interactive smartboards; books; furniture; and storage facilities.

 

The centre was formally opened on Friday (June 28) by State Minister, Hon. Alando Terrelonge; and Foundation Chair, Jean Lowrie-Chin.

 

Mr. Terrelonge said the facility’s establishment is timely, in light of the myriad symptoms characterising the profile of children with special needs.

 

These, he noted, include cognitive developmental weaknesses; physical and psychological challenges; terminal illness; and food allergies, all of which “do require special attention”.

 

The State Minister, in acknowledging the frustration that many parents and families experience consequent on these traits, urged them to be patient with and to encourage the youngsters, as “they have a right to be here”.

 

A special education unit has been established at Chetolah Park Primary School in Hannah Town, to cater to the needs of primary-age children attending that and other institutions in western Kingston who have learning and other developmental challenges.

 

The centre, which has been named the Chetolah Mel Nathan Special Education Unit, consequent on a merger initiated with the neighbouring Mel Nathan Preparatory School, results from a Ministry of Education, Youth and Information study revealing the need for such a facility in the region.

 

Its establishment was spearheaded by the Ministry, in partnership with the Digicel Foundation, which refurbished and outfitted the unit at a cost of over $13 million.

 

Key among its features are four refurbished classrooms and bathrooms; an assessment room; an access ramp for youngsters in wheelchairs; multimedia projectors; mimio tools, which transform whiteboards into interactive smartboards; books; furniture; and storage facilities.

 

The centre was formally opened on Friday (June 28) by State Minister, Hon. Alando Terrelonge; and Foundation Chair, Jean Lowrie-Chin.

 

Mr. Terrelonge said the facility’s establishment is timely, in light of the myriad symptoms characterising the profile of children with special needs.

 

These, he noted, include cognitive developmental weaknesses; physical and psychological challenges; terminal illness; and food allergies, all of which “do require special attention”.

 

The State Minister, in acknowledging the frustration that many parents and families experience consequent on these traits, urged them to be patient with and to encourage the youngsters, as “they have a right to be here”.

 

 CAPTION: Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Alando Terrelonge (left), and Digicel Foundation Chair, Jean Lowie-Chin (second left), view a commemorative plaque unveiled during Friday’s (June 28) official opening of the Chetolah Mel Nathan Special Education Unit in Kingston. The facility is situated on the compound of Chetolah Park Primary School in Hannah Town. Others sharing the occasion are the Ministry’s Region One Education Services Director, Dr. Kasan Troupe (third left); Acting Principal of Chetolah Park Primary, Mervis Blackwood (third right); former Principal, Robert Smith (second right); and students of the school.