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Ministry talks special education with Canadian delegation

Published:Monday | August 11, 2014 | 12:00 AM

The Ministry of Education is seeking to establish an exchange programme involving special education teachers from Jamaica visiting Canada to observe best practices in that North American country.

In addition, the ministry is exploring the possibility of acquiring appropriate software from Canada to be used in the delivery of special-education programmes to persons with disabilities.

These proposals resulted from recent discussions between Education Minister Ronald Thwaites and Canadian Senator, Dr Don Meredith, who led a parliamentary and business delegation to the island. The talks were facilitated by Senate President Floyd Morris, who is visually impaired and is a spokesman for the disabled community.

Minister Thwaites pointed out that special education is a policy priority for the Ministry of Education and, therefore, he welcomed the opportunity for local teachers to be trained as special-education trainers in Canada.

Noting that the ministry was being negatively impacted by astronomical energy bills, Minister Thwaites also welcomed an offer from the visiting Senator to identify Canadian suppliers of solar energy with whom the ministry could do business. Mr Thwaites disclosed that the Ministry of Education is seeking to lease the roofs of school plants to solar energy providers in an arrangement that would result in a reduction of their electricity bill.