JIS News

Seven schools with Special Education programmes, were yesterday (June 29) awarded by the Ministry of Education and Youth’s Special Education Unit for excellence in literacy.
At an awards ceremony held at the Salvation Army School for the Blind auditorium in Kingston, awards and prizes were presented to Lyssons Primary School in St. Thomas; Mico Practising All-age and Hope Valley Experimental in Kingston; Catherine Hall and Hazard Primary in St. James; Duncan’s All-age in Trelawny; and Ocho Rios Primary in St. Ann.
Hope Valley Experimental was named most outstanding literacy unit, while special recognition was given to Catherine Hall Primary for excellence in numeracy. Sandra Elliot, special education teacher at the Hazard Primary, was named the most outstanding teacher, with Tanya Ramdeen of the Ocho Rios placing second and Daphne Roberts of the Hope Valley, third.
Special educator, Dr. Michelle Meredith, who was the guest speaker at the ceremony, congratulated the children on their achievements. She noted that their improvements came as a result of community effort, “when teachers, parents and community members decided that they would try a little harder with special needs students”.
“Students, I want you to please continue working hard [and] measure your steps in small leaps. Next year this time, you’ll learn a whole lot more, so pat yourself on the back, because you have come forward from where you were yesterday to something new,” she stated.
For his part, Education Officer, Hixwell Douglas noted that “the children are the ones that we are lifting up, pushing up; allowing them to grow, allowing them to go and allowing them to glow, and this year, we are happy to note that our children are indeed growing.”
As part of the ceremony, prizes were presented for performance in the Special Education Unit’s literacy competition, with Catherine Hall taking home the top prize, while second and third places went to Duncans All-age and Hazard Primary, respectively.
The Special Education Unit of the Ministry of Education and Youth embraces those programmes designed to meet the educational needs of children, four to 18 years old, identified as having mental, physical and intellectual capabilities, which deviate significantly, from the norm expected of their age.
The programme aims to provide these students with access to early childhood, primary, secondary and tertiary education, in order for them to realize their full potential.

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