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Foundation course launched for in-service special educators

educationA group of 40 in-service special needs teachers and teacher assistants from the School for the Exceptional Child, Praslin Centre for Exceptional Child and Special Education Needs Coordinators from mainstream will receive training.

This venture has been realised through a partnership between the Seychelles Petroleum Company (Seypec) and the School for the Exceptional Child (Sec) following the adoption of the school by the petroleum firm last year to mark its 30th anniversary.

In his opening remarks the chief executive of Seypec, Conrad Benoiton, said the Seypec board of directors endorses strongly the involvement of Seypec towards this institution.

“The word exceptional within the school is not of the shortcomings of the young children but exceptional to what they can be in time when they walk out and this is what we want to see achieved,” he said.

The training was officially launched by the principal secretary for early childhood, primary and secondary education Merida Delcy in the presence of the Minister for Education Macsuzy Mondon, ambassador for women & children Dr Erna Athanasius, principal secretaries, director generals among key officials, teachers and students.

She said the event marks another significant step in the development of special education in Seychelles.

She said the inclusive education policy which was launched in March 2015 has been designed to enrich our understanding of inclusive education and step up the process of providing quality education for all.

“In order to intensify the implementation of inclusive education in state schools, there is a need to strengthen teachers’ competencies and skills in inclusive practices since they are the most important actors in education,” she added.

In October 2015, a delegation from the special needs education unit went on a study tour in Mauritius hosted by the Mauritian Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Mauritius Institute of Education (MIE). This training is an outcome of the visit whereby MIE proposed to assist the Ministry of Education of Seychelles with specialised teacher training.

The training is being led by a consultant from MIE, Somrajsingh Dhunnoo, who is a special needs education specialist.

It is expected to raise teachers’ awareness and develop their understanding of the different types of disabilities, build their competencies in developing effective individualised education programmes (IEPs) to cater for pupils’ individual needs, equip them with knowledge and skills to develop appropriate teaching and learning resources and to apply effective strategies to diversity in the classrooms.

The training will be conducted during the school holidays and will include some practical components such as developing effective IEPs and conducting basic needs assessment in relation to the different types of disabilities.

During the training, they will also be exposed to practical activities and develop a series of teaching and learning materials to be delivered in their respective classes during term time.

Due to the fact that schools started on January 18, it is difficult to release all teachers at Sec and PCEC at the same time, therefore special arrangements will be made to release half of the teachers at a time so as not to upset the schools’ programme.

The total cost of the training is US $23,556 which is being fully funded by Seypec under their corporate social responsibility.

The implementation and impact of training will be supported and monitored by all stakeholders involved as participatory observers.

Source : Seychelles NATION


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