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Special Education Unit Gets $1.2 Billion

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JIS: The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information’s Special Education Unit has received funding of more than $1.2 billion for the 2019/20 fiscal year as the Government continues to meet its commitment to students with special needs.


The unit makes special provisions for students with hearing and visual impairments, physical disabilities, mental retardation, learning disabilities and those who are gifted and talented.


Portfolio Minister, Hon. Karl Samuda, in highlighting the work of the unit in his Sectoral Debate presentation on July 31, said that it operates a Braille and large-print programme, which reproduces material for persons who are blind or visually impaired.


“Large print services are also available for students with low vision who are in regular schools,” he noted.


Students with special needs are educated in the general school setting, or in public, grant-aided, or independent special education schools.


Minister Samuda said that the Ministry provides support to community-based organisations offering early-intervention and community-based rehabilitation to students with disabilities.


He noted that the Ministry has opened two diagnostic centres, which assist in identifying students with special needs as well as providing short-term intervention.


“Across the system, there are 424 trained special education teachers employed to give support to students with special needs. Additional special education teachers are also being recruited,” he told the House.


CAPTION: Minister without Portfolio with responsibility for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Karl Samuda, addresses the House of Representatives on July 31.