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Press Release

Title: Lessons in mother tongue for special needs children
Date: 08-Jun-2012
Source/Author: The Borneo Post

Lessons in mother tongue for special needs children

FOR THE ALBUM: Janet Lau (third left) presents a memento to Fatimah as Temenggong Vincent Lau (right) and others look on.

SIBU: Preschool classes for children with special needs may be conducted in their mother tongue from next year.

Minister of Welfare, Women and Family Development Datuk Fatimah Abdullah said her ministry had submitted the proposal to the Education Ministry earlier this year.

“A few Chinese parents of children with special needs have told me that their children had problems learning in Bahasa Malaysia. We discussed the matter with the State Education Department, hence the proposal.”

Fatimah told reporters this after she officiated at the opening of the 4th National Early Childhood Intervention Conference at a hotel here yesterday.

She said it was a good move because with their own difficulties, the children with special needs were finding it tough to learn another language.

She said SJK (C) Thai Kwang in Sibu had already taught the special need preschoolers in Mandarin while the government had planned to do the same for SK Kenyalang in Kuching.

There are five preschools for special needs children in the state.

Earlier in her speech, Fatimah, who is also Special Olympics Sarawak Chapter chairperson, said that there were 2,900 primary to secondary students attending 142 special education classes in the state at the moment. On a similar matter, she said the number of disabled people registered with the state’s Welfare Department now were 27,919.

About 750 participants from Peninsular Malaysia, the United Kingdom, Australia, USA, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia comprising parents, education and health professionals and kindergarten teachers are attending the three-day conference.

It is jointly organised by the Health Department, United Nation Children’s Fund, the Education Department and Welfare Department.

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