Special Schools Exhibition showcases skills of the differently-abled

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, September 28, 2017

An exhibition showcasing the creativity of special-needs students honed through their vocational skills programme was hosted at the Umana Yana on Thursday. This Special Schools Exhibition forms part of the Ministry of Education’s activities for Education Month.

Some of the items crafted by special students on display.

National Special Needs Officer, Savvie Hopkinson explained the main focus of the event.

“What we are doing here today, we are giving special schools a chance to show what they do in their pre-vocational programmes. In the special schools, we have students with disabilities and they too are engaged in curriculum work.”

The SEN Officer also added that the activity not only showcases the talent of the students but will sensitise the public to the fact that the students, as well as other disabled persons, possess skills that make them employable.

“We are saying to the private sector and to the public sector that they are employable. That they too can work…they too have a contribution to make towards this country. And if they are denied that opportunity; then what we are doing is robbing Guyana of its valuable resources.”

Head Teacher of the David Rose School for the Handicapped, Deon McKenzie noted that despite the challenges the students are faced with, they are benefitting from the school in other ways.

Students of Resource Unit for the Blind performing the song “I can” at the exhibition.

“At this moment they are not in a situation to write national examinations, but they will become adults and they must be able to take care of themselves. So, if they have craft skills that would allow them to work in that area, we would have done our jobs in educating them”, McKenzie related.

The event saw a wide range of Special School students from Regions Four, Six and Ten displaying their craft, woodwork and other items.

Department of Public Information (DPI) spoke to Althea Thomas, a student of the Open-Door Centre, who was excited to be part of the event since it is her first time participating in an exhibition. “It is awesome, it has a lot of people, you can see a lot of different people, different creativity and stuff…it’s really good.”

Thomas encourages other special-needs persons to attend the Open-Door Centre, since it has much to offer in terms of skills training, adding that she has been exposed to the art of creating woollen mats among other techniques.

Due to the overwhelming response to the event, the Education Ministry plans to host next year’s event at a larger facility.

 

By: Crystal Stoll

National Special Needs Officer, Savvie Hopkinson.

Part of the audience at the Special Schools Exhibition.

 

Deon McKenzie, Head Teacher of David Rose School for the Handicapped.

Althea Thomas, Student of Open Door Centre.

 

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