Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, says teachers will be provided with the tools to deal with students with special needs.
In an interview with JIS News, he said the Ministry is fully aware of the challenges teachers face when dealing with these students, and they should be commended for their level of empathy and the work they have been doing.
“One of the things that I have asked the Ministry to do is to get the data. We need the data to quantify the level of special needs students we have in the system,” the Minister said.
Mr. Reid said it would be very easy to dismiss or even give up on students who continue to display serious anti-social behaviour, arguing that it would be a mistake to do so. “These students require special attention,” he emphasised.
The Minister said that teachers, many of whom are not trained in this particular area, should be lauded for their work.
Senator Reid said factors which have contributed to students having difficulties at school include their social environment, reckless parental behaviour, broken homes, emotional stress and a lack of interest in education shown by some parents.
“Some of the problems are not just cognitive. We also have to look at the families, the absentee fathers and how these children have been brought up,” the Minister noted.
“We now have a situation where we might have to seek the assistance of the Ministry of Health to get the message across to some parents that they have to act more responsible when pregnant. If we want to have bright and healthy students, you cannot party all night when you are pregnant. You cannot be smoking ganja all night,” he stressed.
The Minister said that all students are important and “we want all of them to succeed.”
Mr. Reid said it is never too late for even an adult to acquire a good education, adding that the Government will be making it a priority to have the necessary infrastructure in place where everybody will have access to lifelong learning.
“What brings joy to my heart is when I see people getting their degrees at age 50, at age 60 and at age 70,” he added.
Content provided by http://jis.gov.jm/tools-teachers-deal-special-needs-students/