Special Needs Centre up and ready

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, November 8, 2018

Minister of Education, Dr. Nicolette Henry, today conducted a tour of the now completed Special Needs facility located in the compound of the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) Turkeyen, East Coast Demerara.

The Regional Centre for Stimulating the Development of Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs (SEN) Associated with Disabilities aims to train persons to manage persons with disabilities.

The idea for the centre was conceptualised at the fifth CARICOM-Cuba Summit in Cuba in 2014. An agreement was signed between CARICOM, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guyana and the Ministry of Education of Cuba in December 2015. The centre is seen as a part of strengthening relations between the CARICOM region and the government of Cuba. The Cuban government provided the technical staff required to facilitate training of staff members the facility.

Dr. Aymara Solis Tarrago, Head Psychologist, told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that while her team will train the centre’s technical staff to manage persons with disabilities they will also assist in imparting treatment processes.

“We have to not only do the psychological diagnosis among other training methods but also do treatment, particularly psychological treatment… The training will encompass, of course, the children with disabilities but also include their parents and teachers in specific activities,” Tarrago explained.

She stressed that the training offered includes evaluation and diagnosis, language therapy, occupational therapy, psychological treatment, prevention, rehabilitation and social integration services with a psycho-pedagogical and socially inclusive approach.

Currently, eight individuals comprise the first batch of technical staff who completed the three-month training programme which equipped them with the necessary skills to work at the centre. They are Keenan Benjamin, Mycinth Robertson, Calvin Lawirie, Yolanda Williams, June Herod, Kalina Phillips, Michelle Nicholas and Kelly Coonja.

Earlier this year, Minister Henry said that the initiative is an exemplary illustration of stakeholders working together for the common good of Guyana’s educational mandate,” Quality Education for All”.

“The centre will serve all of Guyana and also extend to the rest of the Caribbean as it is the central hub for the CARICOM region,” the minister noted.

Neola Damon.

Images: Giovanni Gajie.

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