KUCHING: The Sarawak government is looking into setting up a special primary school for special needs children soon so that they can obtain the right education. It is said that the school would be modelled on a primary school for special needs children in Australia.
In saying this, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Datuk Openg says he has instructed Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah to head a study on its viability.
According to him, children with special needs require a psychological technique to be calmed down, and with the establishment of a special school, they would be given special attention by teachers specialising in psychology and health.
He also observes that Kuching, Miri and Sibu, which are densely populated, have many children with special needs.
“To raise a child with special needs is not easy, as in Australia, children with special needs are given special education to identify their abilities.
“At the very least, once they enrol in secondary school, their performance will be improved by 60 per cent,” he said when met after the launching the Datuk Amar Hajah Juma’ani Welfare Centre at Jalan Kulas here yesterday.
“We will take a (special) primary school in Australia as our model.
“The study has just started and the decision on the construction of a special primary school will be announced within the next six months. I have also identified the ideal location for the school that will be accessible to residents around Kuching.
“If the first project is successful, the next special primary schools will be established in major cities such as Miri and Sibu,” he said.
The Datuk Amar Hajah Juma’ani Welfare Centre provides welfare support services, as community-based rehabilitation centre (PDK) as well as a senior citizens activity centre (Pawe).
The centre, among other things, provides free family counselling to the communities in the surrounding areas and to date, a total of 60 individuals with disabilities have registered with the PDK.
Abang Johari added that the previous PDK Sri Satok at Jalan Muda Hashim here was getting overcrowded; thus, prompting the need to set up a new centre with full facilities and better environment.
The welfare centre was named after Abang Johari’s wife, Datin Patinggi Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang, who is the centre’s chairperson.
Present at the event were Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali, Assistant Minister of Rural Electricity Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, Permodalan Satok Bhd executive director Tan Sri Datuk Amar Abdul Aziz Husain, and Petra Jaya Welfare Association deputy chairman Dr Ismail Drahman.