Regional

Assessment for early childhood students with special needs coming

BY HORACE HINES Observer West reporter CULLODEN, Westmoreland

Thursday, May 01, 2014    

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Faced with alarming data which indicate that about a third of children with special needs are not being identified, the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) has developed an assessment system, called Readiness Evaluation to remedy the situation.

According to chairman of the Board of the ECC Professor Maureen Samms-Vaughan, a pilot project to introduce the system which will assist teachers in identifying children with special needs, will be introduced later this, and next month in "a couple of parishes."

After that, the screening process will be available to early childhood institutions across the island in time for the 2014/2015 academic school year.

"So it (screening process) is going to be administered to every single four- year-old child. So that we can identify them (those with special needs) early before they go to primary school and can give them all the help that they need," Professor Samms-Vaughan explained.

"And many of you will identify children in your classroom who need the help. So this is just a tool which is going to help you to do this a little bit better."

Samms-Vaughan was speaking at the first of the Early Childhood Commission's 10th anniversary celebrations, which took the form of an award ceremony and luncheon at the Sandals Whitehouse European Village and Spa in Westmoreland, last week.

Nearly 40 teachers and 10 early childhood institutions in Westmoreland were honoured during the ceremony.

Meanwhile, Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education Dr Grace McLean congratulated the teachers and institution owners who were awarded.

"We commend you for your dedication and commitment to the sector over the years. You have served well under adverse circumstances and you are truly deserving of this award. I encourage you to use this as a source of motivation to continue to give of yourself for the benefit of our children. You are shaping the next generation in this country," Dr McLean remarked.

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