The Ministry of Education’s organized Educators’ Summer Institute will this year extend its reach to include parents of students with special educational needs into their programme.
Organizers will include at least five sessions that will be facilitated by specialists, and the ministry is encouraging members of the public to make full use of the opportunity being offered at no cost.
Positive behaviour management (parental involvement), civil society’s introduction to child friendly schools, autism and parental involvement, parenting, brain development and student engagement and success are the sessions that will be offered to the general public, and will be held on July 5th, 9th, 10th, 16th and 17th, starting at 5pm at the Antigua Grammar School.
The Summer Institute will be held from 9-20 July, 2012. The brainchild of Education Minister Dr. Jacqui Quinn-Leandro, it was established in 2010, as the ministry of education seeks to reform the education system in Antigua and Barbuda. Educators will be trained in speech and language therapy, brain development and student engagement, autism, positive behaviour management, multi-grade teaching, ICT integration and mathematics among others.
Assistant Director of Education with responsibility for planning Doristeen Etinoff says the aim of the institute is to assist educators in managing their schools and classrooms in a more effective manner, thereby identifying students’ special educational needs, and making the necessary provisions for them. Etinoff who also chairs the Special Education Council (SEC) explained that in many instances, attention is placed on students with learning difficulties, but she pointed out that there are also those considered “gifted,” students who perform beyond their years.
Special needs education remains a priority for the ministry of education this year, and with the formation of the Special Education Council (SEC) in November 2011, its members have been tasked with analyzing needs and available resources, allowing the ministry to gauge where it is, and to chart the way forward in the most practical sense, so as to maximise the potential of students with special educational needs.