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[Feature Article] The Star: Coming Together For Special Needs Children

On the 14th of July 2019, EAP Malaysia was featured in The Sunday Star newspaper, following our successful EAP Family Day event, where the Deputy Minister of Education, YB Teo Nie Ching, attended and officiated the event!


Coming Together For Special Needs Children

Published In: The Sunday Star

Published On: 14 July 2019

BY 2023, the Education Ministry targets the enrolment of special needs students in the ministry’s Inclusive Education Programme to increase to 75%.

Currently, Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching said only 50% are enrolled in the programme.

Teo explained that the inclusive programme is where special needs students will be placed in mainstream classes for a few subjects.

“We need to prepare our teachers and upgrade our facilities,” she said during her speech at Early Autism Project Malaysia’s (EAP) family day event.

“School facilities must be worked on. We have a shortage of special needs teachers; we need to recruit more.

“We shouldn’t deny that there is room for us to improve, but we are also putting in serious effort to ensure we can do better,” she added.

Teo said the ministry is working with non-governmental organisations like EAP to increase enrolment in national schools, besides emphasising on the ministry’s Zero Reject Policy, which ensures students with special needs get access to education.

“EAP specialises in autism, so they will be able to provide training and assistance to our teachers.

“We need to ensure our teachers are ready, not just special education teachers but mainstream teachers.

“We can collaborate in conducting teacher training in order to reach more autistic students and schools, and produce teacher training videos for the ministry’s special education teachers in the integrated special education programme,” she said.

Teo assured the parents that the government is committed to providing a better country for all children, “especially the special needs children”. EAP director Jochebed Isaacs said EAP is committed in not only providing world class special education, but making it accessible to all.

“We are dedicated to support the ministry’s Zero Reject Policy in whatever way we can because all children deserve the right to good quality education,” she said.

The family day event saw 60 children from EAP perform in a live production titled “The Greatest Show” in front of a crowd of cheering parents and family members.

Isaacs said most children with autism need to work hard to learn how to imitate, stay in a group and communicate, among others.

“Today is a day we celebrate every single child we work with and their achievements.

“For some, it is the ability to tolerate coming to a new space, standing on a stage and putting up with the lights and sounds,” she added.