Ministry approves special vocational school

KUCHING: After many years, the Ministry of Education (MoE) has finally approved the state’s request to set up a special vocational school for special students.

Welfare, Community Well-being, Women, Family and Childhood Development minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah disclosed she was informed about the matter by the ministry’s Special Education Division director Datuk Dr Yasmin Hussain recently.

“From the vocational school, we hope to be able to place our children for job placement,” she said when attending the Love and Care Wishesland Concert at the Pullman Hotel last Friday night.

Fatimah added the state government’s road map for the children with disabilities in Sarawak would be initiated with the establishment of the One-Stop Early Intervention Centre (OSEIC) in Metro City Matang by early January next year.

Datin Amar Kathryn Wee (third left) together with Datin Donna Drury (fifth left) hand over a mock cheque for RM100,000 to Wisherland chairman Chi Poh Yung (third right) witnessed by Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tun Tuanku Bujang (fourth left), Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah and others. Photos: Mohd Alif Noni

“The centre will provide services such as diagnosis, early intervention, rehabilitation and therapies. It will also be equipped with a resource centre operated by therapists who can provide support services to kindergarten and preschool teachers as well as parents of children with special needs.

“After undergoing the process of early intervention, the children can continue their education in mainstream schools but the children who are categorised in the “more severe” group will be retained in the OSEIC.

“The state government has also announced that Sarawak will have its very own primary school for children with disabilities. In stages, the children will proceed to continue their education starting from Primary 1,” she explained.

The concert, organised by Sarawak Mirage Club, aimed to assist the Wishesland Cerebral Palsy Centre in raising funds for the construction of the latter’s Neurofeedback Laboratory and the Boccia Arena.

The guest of honour for the night was the Chief Minister’s wife Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tun Tuanku Bujang.

At the concert, Sarawak Mirage Club presented a cheque for RM100,000 to Wishesland which was received by its chairman Chi Poh Yung.

Also present were Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, Sarawak Mirage Club chairperson Datin Amar Kathryn Wee, the event’s organising chairperson Datin Dona Drury Wee.

Cerebral Palsy is caused by abnormal development or damage to the parts of the brain that control movement, balance and posture.

The neurofeedback centre can train the brain by activating passive cells through positive reinforcement where it works on the brainwaves. The facility can also be used by victims of brain injury and stroke.

Meanwhile, Boccia is a sport designed for people with disabilities and is played in the Paralympics and Special Olympics. The game test one’s muscle control and accuracy, focus and concentration.

The excitement of playing the game is an excellent incentive for players to improve and through that, their physical wellbeing and mental agility are enhanced.

To date, Wishesland is operating at Rumah Sebandi (White House), Jalan Crookshank; it has 115 registered members comprising children with cerebral palsy aged 17 years and below, five qualified physiotherapists, a part time speech therapist and a gardener cum driver taking care of the special angels.

A performance by Amy Tnay