KUCHING: The federal government is urged to look into building a vocational school for special needs children in the state.
Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Child Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah pointed out that currently there is no such institution that caters to honing skills of special needs children.
“There is no such school yet here in the state and also in Sabah. Mostly those who seek further will need to attend schools in West Malaysia that offer such service.
“Such vocational school for special needs children is vital so that we can shape them to be independent with the necessary skills. Thus they can earn a living and not (wholly) dependent on their parents or caretakers.
“With most parents reluctant to be separated from their children, there is no channel for these children to grow and as their parents grow older, this would lead to another problem of whom will be taking care of them when their parents pass away,” she told reporters after visiting a client of the Social Welfare Department here.
On a related matter, Fatimah suggested that a focus on rehabilitation, skills training and education be given to further improve the quality of life of children with special needs.
“They cannot rely totally on their family members or caretakers. We need to build their capacity to ensure that they will at least know what they are able to do and (have) the skills that they can contribute to society,” she said.