A better understanding of Special Education Needs (SEN) work and its role within the Ministry of Education is expected to be bolstered through the recent hosting of the Second Annual SEN conference in Bartica, Region Seven.

The recent two-day conference, spearheaded by the Ministry’s SEN Unit, was designed to amplify the need to improve SEN performance and quality of work produced by SEN Officers.

At the opening of the conference, National SEN Officer, Ms. Savvie Hopkinson, said that at the end of the two-day conference the expected outcome of the event will be detailed. “Officers would be expected to improve their performance and improve the quality of their work. Participants must leave with a fuller understanding of their roles and responsibilities as part of the SEN Unit and as Officers assigned to Departments of Education,” Hopkinson shared.

Some of the issues that were slated to be addressed at the forum were the reviewing, strategising, identification of challenges and the sharing of experiences. The conference also saw discussion surrounding the SEN Work Programme for 2019 and the need for employing a structured approach for realising the objectives.

Moreover, Hopkinson said that, participants will be introduced to the functions of the Regional SEN Centre for Treatment and Diagnosis that is located at the Cyril Potter College of Education situated at the Turkeyen Campus. She said, “This centre is a welcomed addition to the architecture of special education and will impact the national efforts that are already in progress in this field.”

Further, Hopkinson explained that that the evolution of the education system is plainly visible in the changed perception of students who learn differently; those that face formidable cognitive challenges; those who were formerly abandoned or left behind; students who stood on the periphery and notably the blind, the hearing impaired and those with other disabilities. She noted, too, that the establishment of the SEN Unit and the embrace of a new paradigm shift in respect to curriculum and teaching methodologies, with all their ramifications, is testimony to an inclusive and accessible approach to education by the Government.


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