The National, Monday July 1st, 2013
A WAY forward to inclusive education is raising trainee teacher’s awareness of children with special needs in schools.
This was the sentiment raised by a long-serving staff of the Creative Self Help Centre in Madang, Berenice Genaia.
Genaia told visiting students from Madang Teachers College and their lecturer.
She said that when teachers understood the different needs of children with disabilities in schools, they would be able to assist them better.
This would lead to achieving inclusive education.
The second-year Madang Teachers College trainee teachers were at the centre as part of their Special Education course observing how students with special needs were learning.
Lecturer of Special Education Gabriel Saun said the trip was for the trainee teachers to observe the different teaching strategies the centre’s teachers were using.
He said this would increase the trainee teacher’s awareness of the different learning needs of students with disabilities when they became teachers.
The different learning strategies included braille for the visually-impaired (blind) and sign language for the hearing impaired (deaf).
Saun said that students with disabilities had the right to education, as with abled children.
Second year student Lisa Saok said that although she had lived among persons with disabilities in her community, seeing children with disabilities learning at the centre using braille and sign language for the hearing impaired was an eye opener and motivating for her.
Saok has made up her mind to be inclusive in her future teaching career.
Meanwhile, the two institution’s teachers are now in a dialogue to bring teachers from the centre to teach sign language to lecturers and students at Madang Teachers College.