Workshop Focuses on Pupils with Special Education Needs

A two-day symposium on UNESCO’s Project Participation Programme 2013: Achievement and Inclusion for all in Primary schools, kicked off this morning at the Mauritius Institute of Education, Réduit, in the presence of the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Dr. Vasant Bunwaree and members of the academia.
During the symposium, case studies as a testimony of the varied profiles of Learners’ Special Education Needs (LSEN) in primary schools will be presented. Participants from different bodies will share their experiences regarding how their organisation/institution is contributing to LSEN in primary schools.
Participants will also share and discuss examples of practice and challenges associated with key aspects of SEN in primary schools, such as: policy making, advocacy and nation building, interdisciplinary partnerships, capacity building and professional development, and child-centred, adapted and inclusionary pedagogy, amongst others.
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In his address at the opening ceremony, Minister Bunwaree recalled that this project supports the good practices in the field of remedial education in schools, adding that timely action for remediation should be taken during the early years. It also seeks to complete remedial education practices in schools and help minimise the incidence of failure in schools.
The Minister pointed out that Government is coming with the nine year schooling programme because it believes that every child should have the opportunity to move smoothly within the system and is adequately prepared for higher achievement at the end of the compulsory schooling. It is important that every child finds a place in the world of tomorrow, he said.
On that score, Government is once more prepared to take a bold decision because we believe in the principle of equity and the necessity to ensure that no child is called a failure because the school is not prepared to give the best to what every child deserves, Dr. Bunwaree said.
With oncoming changes in education, the Ministry will, with the help of a multidisciplinary team, see to it that pupils’ needs are taken care of as from Standard 1 itself, he added.
Mauritius has achieved a level of education that is comparable to any developed country in the world and the challenge now is to improve the quality of education. In a bid to sustain the new pillars of the economy, the country will need educated citizens who will be able to fit into the diverse jobs that will be created, said the Minister.
For his part the Director of MIE, Mr. Nath Varma, outlined that this project is an extremely important one as it relates to Government’s vision for an education for all. Now emphasis should be on perfecting the education system and MIE will drive a number of initiatives and do its share, he said.
The MIE has an important contribution in training teachers working with SEN children. The training helps teachers to attend to pupils’ problems quickly and create a classroom where the diverse needs of pupils are met.