Care for those with special needs


PEOPLE living with disabilities should be respected and addressed by their names and not by any other name which instigates discrimination, coordinator of Callan Services in Buka, Blaise Semoso, says.
They should be addressed as “people with special needs” because there are only certain things they cannot do. But they are humans who have the same rights as able-bodied people, Semoso said.
A resource centre has been set up by Callan Services in Buka called the “Inclusive Education Resource Centre”.
It is more like an early childhood centre that caters for normal children and children with special needs under the age of six years.
“In the centre they let children with special needs mingle with other children and prepare them for mainstream schooling,” Semoso said.
“We don’t keep them in the centre but send them to the elementary schools so they can be educated like any other normal child.
“The parents are happy with this programme, seeing their children in school and learning like normal children.
“We encourage parents who have children with special needs to bring them to this centre because we help in creating an education foundation for these children. Last year the enrolment of children with special needs was 18 and we thanked the ABG government for its continuous funding through education grants.”
There are challenges that the centre faces like not being able to put children through in mainstream schools because of rejection.
To address this problem, Callan Services provides in-service training for teachers in elementary schools and primary schools so they can communicate and teach children with special needs with other children.
“Teaching these children takes patience and we encourage teachers to be more loving and caring when teaching these children,” Semoso said.
“Despite the challenges, we will still continue to support these children in whatever way we can.”