Singapore is implementing a new framework for Special Education Schools in 2012. With this new framework, parents with special needs children no longer have to be afraid that their special needs children will be left behind.
Starting in 2012, all 20 of Singapore’s Special Education (SPED) schools will share broad education outcome even if the schools continue using different methods in educating their students.
Senior Parliamentary Secretary (Education and Law), Sim Ann who had been tasked to conduct a review of the SPED sector revealed that the initiative is one of several that would be implemented. Others include plans to provide guidelines to health professionals such as therapists and doctors in order to assist parents in planning the education of their special needs children.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) will also step up vocational training opportunities for special needs children who are able to work and encourage more employers to hire those with special needs. Ms. Sim said that the primary guiding principle behind the review is to look at the issues from the perspective of a parent with a special needs child.
While the approach can differ significantly among schools, such a framework could ensure a certain level of consistency as well as help schools learn best practices from one another.
“We hope all the schools will be able to use [the framework] as a foundation to build their own development of specific curriculum,” said Ms. Sim.
“What we want is no different than what parents want … if this child can be prepared to master more skills to do more for him or herself upon leaving school, I think the parent would want that.”
Apart from raising the quality of special needs education; the review also seeks to provide better accessibility to the resources for parents as well as the affordability of special needs education.
The disabled in Singapore
Special needs children and people with disability in general have been more and more visible in Singapore as of recent years. The Disabled People’s Association (DPA) of Singapore plays a crucial part in being responsible for this.
The organizations researches and provides resources, information and support on all matters affecting disabled people in Singapore and these include: transport, equipment, employment, entertainment, shopping and independent living.
It also provides assistance for families who might need help with their special assistance member. The DPA website is constantly being updated with detailed information relevant to the disabled community’s needs in Singapore.
Life is already tough for all of us, but with this new educational measure and the help from the community at large, disabled people will not have to tough it out all on their own anymore.