Diagnostic centres for special needs children by year-end
Education Minister Ronald Thwaites has indicated that there are plans to establish three diagnostic and care centres to cater to students with special education needs in rural Jamaica by year-end.
The centres are to be located at the Church Teachers’ College in Manchester, the Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College in St James, and the College of Agriculture Science and Education in Portland.
The facilities will cost the Government some $40 million.
Addressing education stakeholders at the Region five Back to School Conference in Manchester yesterday the education minister said the establishment of the diagnostic facilities in rural Jamaica will lessen the need for parents to take their children to Kingston for assessment.
Thwaites said this will also lessen the demand on the services of the Mico Child Assessment and Research in Education Centre, which is currently the only such facility in Jamaica.
He said the move is in keeping with the Government’s plan to revitalise and transform the education system with special emphasis on early childhood and special education.
The education minister noted that there is a growing demand for special needs educators, and he hopes to satisfy this demand by 2016 by using the new facilities as training grounds for teachers.
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