| Achong Tanjong |
A CERTIFICATE presentation ceremony for 27 students who recently completed the five year Pre-Vocational Programme (2010 – 2014) was held yesterday at The Atrium, The Airport Mall, Berakas.
Organised annually by the Special Education Unit, Ministry of Education, the event was attended by parents, Home Room Teachers, principals, representatives from the private and corporate sectors, officers from the Special Education Unit and other officials from Ministry of Education.
The guest of honour was Dr Haji Junaidi bin Haji Abdul Rahman, Permanent Secretary (Core Education) at the Ministry of Education, who also presented certificates to the participants.
The permanent secretary in his speech said that the Inclusive Core Education was introduced in the country since 1997.
The implementation of the Inclusive Education is to ensure all students including those with special needs are given the opportunity together with their peers in the same situation of teaching and learning.
This is also in line with the Compulsory Education Act 2007, which mandates that all children aged six to 15 years in the country have formal education in school for at least nine years. Failure to do so is considered in violation of the order of Compulsory Education Act 2007, and can cause parents and guardian of the children may face legal action.
In line with that, the Pre-Vocational Programme is an educational initiative under the SPN21, which aims to meet the specific skill needs of the students.
Through the programme students are exposed to a variety of skills including functional academic skills, independent living skills, social skills and vocational skills.
With these skills, the students with special needs will be able to horn their existing skills and achieve their maximum potential.
Pengiran Sarimah binti Pengiran Haji Ahmad, Acting Head of the Special Education Unit and chairperson of the organising committee, in her speech said that a total of 1,420 students have successfully completed the Pre-Vocational Programme since its inception by the Special Education Unit in 1999.
The programme has been implemented in 26 secondary schools across the four districts. It adopts a skills-for-life approach to assist and train students with modest cognitive abilities so they can become self-sufficient in their everyday life. The programme achieves this by engaging the students in practical activities such as cooking, housekeeping, simple woodwork, gardening, paper craft, art and creative handicraft aimed at developing basic vocational skills.
The Pre-Vocational Programme also plays a significant role in instilling confidence and social skills with a focus on raising the self-image of the students. Ultimately, the programme aims to develop them into successful, self-reliant, caring and resourceful adults who are able to make informed choices, thereby empowering them to make positive contributions to society.
The guest of honour also awarded certificates of appreciation to two Home Room Teachers who recently retired and four Home Room Teachers who have been teaching the students in the Pre-Vocational Programme for 10 years.
The ceremony also included an exhibition consisting of a wide variety of items prepared by Pre-Vocational students such as hand-crafted bags, pillows, framed artwork, framed needlework, fresh produce grown in gardens and greenhouses, biscuits, cupcakes and rosella jam, all of which were displayed for sale to the general public.