The Linden Special Needs Centre performed exceedingly well at this year’s Annual Signing Bee Competition. The Centre won first place in both categories of the competition which was held today at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD).

In Category One, Troy Scott from the Linden Special Needs Centre placed first, Abigail Jairam and Samuel Foo from the New Amsterdam Special School placed second and third respectively. Meanwhile, in Category Two, Ulancy Emanuel from the Linden Special Needs Centre placed first, SateshRajkumar from the New Amsterdam Special School placed second and Tamar Klaus from the Diamond Special Needs School placed third.

The other schools which participated in the competition were the David Rose Special School and the Harmony Secondary School.

According to National Special Education Needs (SEN) Officer, Ms. Savvie Hopkinson, the Signing Bee Competition is an incredible way for students who are deaf to demonstrate their academic progress, justify financial investment in an appropriate education and demand equitable treatment having in the past suffered benign neglect.

She said that the competition bears linguistic similarities with “Singing Bees” and “Spelling Bees”. She said that the competition intends to stimulate the language faculty of students by expanding their vocabulary and augmenting the stock of words they possess and can employ in their work and lives.

“This competition provides a platform for Special Schools to stage their educational quality, expand the capacity of students to perform well in the curriculum while having fun. Through a decentralised approach, it permits students in regions to compete and prove themselves against their counterparts in Georgetown,” Ms. Hopkinson explained.

She added that sign language is crucial to the members of the deaf community since it is the means through which their ideas, imagination, creativity and achievements flow out to the rest of the society and among themselves.

Moreover, Ms. Hopkinson reminded those in attendance that today’s competition celebrates the education policy of inclusiveness and the education philosophy of the right to an appropriate education. “It demonstrates that all students are valuable and must be empowered to see themselves and take their places in an emerging, expanding, competitive, global community”.

Chief Education Officer, Mr. Marcel Hutson echoed sentiments shared by Ms. Hopkinson and added that the competition demonstrates that there are no boundaries to learning and achievement.

He said that the Ministry of Education is pleased to continue hosting the event by making it a feature as part of Education Month. Mr. Hutson explained that over the years the Ministry of Education has sought many ways to provide inclusivity for children with Special Needs.

He said that the participation of the children in the competition serves as an indicator of their academic achievement. Mr. Hutson enlightened the audience that SEN takes precedence in the Education Ministry’s Strategic Plan. He said that a large part of the Strategic Plan has been dedicated to ensuring that there is movement in the SEN area.


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