PdPR a struggle for families with special needs children

By Rachel Mina

KUCHING: With no clear end in sight to the home-based teaching and learning (PdPR) due to the pandemic, families with special needs children have expressed deep concern about their children’s education.

The effectiveness of the ongoing PdPR is highly dependent on not only the teacher’s creativity but also strong support from parents.

Housewife Satia Sabu said it was hard as special needs children required specific attention and methods in their education.

Satia Sabu, Housewife

“Unlike teachers who are specialised and more skilled in dealing with this situation, we as parents are really struggling in dealing with our children.

“It requires extra effort and time because we’re inexperienced in this. Also, we don’t know if we are using the right methods to teach them.”

Nurhanisa Abdurahman, Student

Student Nurhanisa Abdurahman, who has a 10-year-old autistic brother, said PdPR came with many limitations.

“We had made every effort to provide a learning environment for him as he struggles to remain focus during every session.

“However, the session is largely dependent on his emotions, and if we continue to impose the lessons on him, he will lash out. We had to match his tempo.

“We do not have the full understanding of how best to accommodate the PdPR for these children.”

Nurhanisa suggested that they be given recorded lessons as a reference so that they could learn and use the right approach to teach special needs children such as her brother.

“It is hard for students with disabilities to participate in PdPR. Therefore, it is important that teachers and parents work together to ensure the efficiency of education for these children.”

Tinah Juki, Special Education Integration Programme teacher

SK Semenggok Special Education Integration Programme teacher Tinah Juki said that methods and techniques of teaching and learning needed to be modified according to the suitability of parents and children.

“We have to be creative in providing offline methods for PdPR that are appropriate and convenient according to different abilities and needs.

“Despite the challenges, I am glad parents are committed to the education of their special needs children.

“I still receive messages during the weekends or even past midnights from parents regarding the PdPR,” she said, while hoping that face-to-face school sessions could restart as soon as the pandemic is over.