Special needs education receives attention

special needsThe Ministry of Education has been examining the services provided for children with special needs on the island with a view to ensuring that they are properly educated.

Coordinator of Special Education in Dominica, Melina Fontaine, told a recent forum that the ministry has taken proactive steps to train teachers at various levels in special education.

“We have so far engaged consultants under a Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) funded Education Enhancement project, to assist us with the process and we are presently training persons at different levels. We are doing in-service training and we have sent out persons to complete Bachelors and Masters Degree level in special education,” she said.

Fontaine revealed that one individual has been trained in speech therapy and will be available to work with children with special needs by September this year.

“We now have two other psychologists attached to the Ministry of Education and one person completing training in speech therapy. Come September for the first time in Dominica, we will have someone who is a speech therapist to provide services,” she remarked.

Fontaine says the Ministry of Education will continue to explore ways to ensure that the needs of children with special needs are met.

“The field of special education is very broad and we have much to do before we can reach all the children with special needs. Some of them require specialist services… that we are unable to provide because of the lack of human resource,”  she noted.

She also pointed out that “providing for children with special needs requires a collaborative effort through a multi-disciplinary team approach.”

A team of specialists from the Rotary Club of Orleans in Canada is this week conducting a special training program for twenty educators working with children with special needs.

The training is being held at the Alpha Centre.

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8 Comments

  1. Marcia
    March 11, 2020

    Very promising article indeed! In 2020 have any concrete measures been taken to alleviate the daily challenges faced with families- especially monoparental- that have children with special needs at home? I’m referring to those who cannot go to Alpha Centre. Are there home visits , medical check ups, psychological support, financial aid or physical help island wide? Are there any plans to build a medical home for these individuals? I know it is very difficult for some families and I believe that a little more can and should be done to assist those in need.

  2. D?ca to de Bonr(F
    March 20, 2013

    Great news … Needs long time in Dominica .Education in Dominica at long last will not discrimate against special needs children. This is a thing of the past.

    Dominica wake up we are in 2013

  3. DA Kid
    March 20, 2013

    Congratulations! A step in the right direction. NO CHILD SHOULD BE LEFT BEHIND!!!

    If a child can’t learn how we teach, we must teach how the child can learn.

  4. Anonymous
    March 20, 2013

    Great great news! Special needs need to be recognized and support provided. Fantastic move in the right direction.

  5. Finally
    March 20, 2013

    The ministry of Education cant do it all. you need interagency collaboration

  6. hear my cry
    March 20, 2013

    I apaplaud the ministry effort but would like to see more support to individuals who have initiated programs to deal with children with special needs. All the consultative work has been no results. Why not utliise teh hyuan resours that is availabe on island while wyou with for theoise trained. the misitry foe ducation cant do it all. in plase like teh united states the hool priovide servives yet theire are insitution who provide support services and tehy are bing endoresed by teh Governemtn. while ms fontiane is saying one thin on air for teh emdi she is bucy undepmingin teh efforts of trained perosn in specail education . wher does her alle

  7. LUCLU
    March 20, 2013

    This is great news! Keep up the good work, it’s important that special needs children receive the neccessary attention.

  8. Z-B
    March 20, 2013

    Thank you Lord,Dominica is on it’s way to a new level.I must applaud all those who work hard and continue to work in order to ensure that persons with special needs get the adequate help that they require.

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