Sarawak to have own model of schools for special needs kids

Fatimah at the courtesy call. At left is Wishesland president Chi Poh Yung. — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: Sarawak’s primary school for special needs children to be set up soon will not follow the existing models implemented by the federal Ministry of Education.

Instead, it will be modelled along similar schools in other countries which have proven to be effective and successful, Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah has said.

“Sarawak’s own special needs primary schools will not duplicate what the ministry had done – in fact, we’re doing something different entirely.

“We’ve benchmarked the various models and practices from other countries, most notably from Australia. One of the key differences is the inclusion of sports elements. Given the chance and the proper training required, we believe that with the inclusion of sports elements to the schools, they (special needs students) can be successful in the field as well,” Fatimah said during a press conference held after receiving a courtesy call from Mirage Club Sarawak at her office in Bangunan Baitulmakmur yesterday.

According to Fatimah, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has instructed her ministry to conduct a three-month study to come up with a paperwork on the viability of such primary school.

“A second lab session is held today to further discuss on setting up the schools.

“Given the approval from the state cabinet, we’ll conduct a site visit to observe some of the models that have been successfully implemented in Australia,” she added.

She said she would bring this proposal to the November session of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting.

In early March, Abang Johari announced that the Sarawak government was looking into setting up special schools in Sarawak to cater for special needs children.

Given that the project had been successful in Kuching, he also announced more of such schools would be established in other major areas across Sarawak, such as Sibu and Miri.

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