Particular wants schooling coverage should be improved, say academicians
KUALA LUMPUR: Pandemic or no pandemic, national special education policies need to be improved to cater to children with special needs who are among the most vulnerable in the community.
Dr. Hasnah Toran, Associate Professor, Center of Community Education & Wellbeing, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, said there should be better links with post-secondary education children can go to after they graduate from secondary school.
“This means connecting these children with vocational training and jobs,” she said recently at a virtual symposium to address the needs of the Malaysian community during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We need comprehensive early intervention,” she said on the subject of “Education: Challenges of online learning for children with special needs” at the symposium of the RYTHM Foundation – the QI Group’s Social Impact Initiative.
Both Dr. Hasnah and Dr. Donnie Adams Paramasivam, Senior Lecturer, Department of Educational Management, Planning and Policy, Universiti Malaya, who also spoke on Special Education, agreed that “There is an urgent need for awareness of the science and characteristics of special education. especially for the parents. “
Datin Sri Umayal Eswaran, Chair of the RYTHM Foundation, complained that parents, teachers and students are unwilling to face the challenges of the pandemic and that there is no face-to-face communication, particularly how to deal with behavior problems and needs.
“These children have lost more than a year of education and they have also missed therapy, school and an appropriate learning structure.
She also found that some of the teachers and students living inland, such as Sabah, were unable to get online due to poor internet connections.
“The authorities need to look into any shortcomings for these vulnerable parts of the community and for the benefit of Malaysia in the upcoming Malaysian budget in 2022 and also in the 12th Malaysia Plan,” she said.
To that end, she said the symposium, held during the Covid-19 pandemic to address community needs in Malaysia, urged everyone involved to focus on communities at risk, particularly the B40, now called the B60 group is known to focus on better and more effective ways to address this unprecedented crisis that is causing much fear and concern.
The main focus of the symposium is to prepare the foundation’s position paper, which also includes economic issues, to present to policy makers for further development, she said.
The purpose is to support the government’s efforts to mitigate the direct and indirect effects of Covid-19 on vulnerable groups such as children with special needs as well as the community at large by generating high quality ideas and recommendations from stakeholders. with medium and long-term solutions.
“Children run the risk of becoming silent victims. The crisis we are in is not limited to those who fell victim to the attacks or the vulnerable groups who are defenseless, but to the entire nation, “said Umayal.- Bernama