MOE to Provide Greater Support for Special Education

MOE to Provide Greater Support for Special Education

 

Key Info that You Should Know

 

Starting this year, special education students can look forward to greater support from the Ministry of Education (MOE) in Singapore as announced on March 10, 2010.  Hopefully, you will find that this article help you to understand better and easier on the new changes.  

There are some key information that you will need to know depends on if you child are now in SPED or in mainstream schools.   There are 4 specific enhancements for students studying in the special education (SPED) schools, and 1 for students with mild learning disabilities studying in mainstream schools.

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For SPED Schools

Students in SPED schools will be given new school-based awards, more Edusave Pupils Fund and Grant, enhanced literacy, and more opportunities to integrate with children from mainstream schools.

 

1.   New School-based Awards

Schools may decide individually how to give out the awards and will establish their own criteria .  The awards will be given to students who are Singapore citizens. An annual lump-sum grant, based on the enrolment of its Singapore citizen students, from the Edusave Endowment Fund will be given to each school.

The school-based criteria would help schools to select students who best meet their school and student profile. For example, schools for the hearing impaired could focus on the child’s speech development. Other schools might focus on the students’ development of vocational skills. Schools could also give awards based on their students’ contribution to the school community, in areas such as leadership, exemplary behavior, achievements in Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs) or national events for persons with disabilities. Each school will determine the number and quantum of the awards.

2.   Increase in Edusave Pupils Fund and Grant

MOE will increase the Edusave Pupils Fund and Edusave Grant for SPED students taking mainstream secondary curriculum and vocational education programmes from January 2011.  The Edusave Pupils Fund will be increased from $200 to $240 and from $50 to $90 for the Edusave Grant. SPED students can use their Edusave Pupils Fund to pay for school fees and enrichment programmes organised by schools.  SPED schools can use the Edusave Grant to fund enrichment programmes or to purchase additional resources.

 

3.   Enhancing Literacy in SPED Schools

MOE will be introducing Reading Mastery, a Direct Instruction reading programme, to all SPED schools over the next few years.  This is a highly structured reading programme characterised by explicit teaching (vs. learning through discovery). The programme uses a well-planned curriculum in which skills are taught systematically through detailed lesson plans. The teaching approach involves high teacher-student interaction and continuous reinforcement while learning.  Students with intellectual disability showed significant gains in their early reading skills after going through the reading programme.

To enhance the teaching of literacy skills in the SPED schools, MOE will also pilot other Direct Instruction programmes to support the development of oral and writing skills.

 

4.  Greater Opportunities for Integration between Children from SPED and Mainstream Schools

To provide SPED students with opportunities for meaningful interactions with their mainstream peers, MOE will support more satellite partnerships between SPED schools and mainstream schools.    The partnerships enhance the quality of learning experiences for children from SPED and mainstream schools, as well as facilitate better social integration.

Mainstream schools located near SPED schools will be encouraged to conduct joint social and learning activities through platforms such as the Community Involvement Programme (CIP), National Education Programme and CCAs.

MOE will also provide resources to support the conduct of satellite classes for SPED students in the mainstream schools. These resources include funds for setting up of satellite classrooms, and additional manpower in the form of an Allied Educator (AED).

Pathlight School, will include Bishan Park Secondary as its partner on top of the current established satellite partnerships with Chong Boon Secondary and Townsville Primary.  The increased interaction will benefit its older students with autism who would eventually be able to transit into mainstream post-secondary institutions.

 

 

For Mainstream School

Children with mild special needs in mainstream schools will not be left out, as MOE plans to increase the number of Allied Educators in schools and train more teachers in special needs.

MOE deploys Allied Educators (Learning and Behavioural Support) [AED (LBS)] in mainstream schools and trains a proportion of mainstream school teachers in special needs.

By July 2010, all primary schools and 31 designated secondary schools will receive at least one trained AED (LBS), thereby meeting the 2010 target of 236 AEDs (LBS). MOE targets to recruit more AED (LBS) to meet longer term needs.

MOE set its target of having around 10% of the teaching staff in all primary and secondary schools trained in special needs.  It also targets to train an additional 10% of secondary teachers, including JC/CI teachers, by 2012 to support the diverse learning needs of students with special needs and provide them with interventions related to academic learning.

MOE will continue to review and enhance support for students with mild special needs in the mainstream schools. 

 

 

 

Further reading

 Ready for Primary School ?

 More Special Needs Students in Mainstream

 Government plan for mainstream schools with special-needs officers

 School Places For Autistic Kids

 schooling phase

 

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