The Ministry of Women, Family, and Community Development recently announced plans to make it mandatory for kindergarten and childcare centre staff taking care of children with special needs to be trained in an introductory course in caring for disabled children.
According to its Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, the National Special Education Seminar 2023 will be expanded nationwide to prepare all kindergarten and childcare centres to handle children with special needs.
“We do not want to leave anyone out, as looking at the reported abuse cases, we have identified that there are childcare providers without such training,” she said at a press conference after launching the seminar.
She also said that the seminars are being rolled out by associations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) related to disabled children with allocations from the ministry.
Meanwhile, Nancy said of the 107,020 children with special needs under the Minister of Education as of January 31 this year, only 7,582 are registered with the Social Welfare Department, which makes it a challenge for the ministry to take early intervention before they start schooling.
She urged parents to register, saying that there is still a lack of awareness and, therefore, the ministry will collaborate with NGOs to conduct more promotions to tackle the community’s stigma against this group. So far, the Social Welfare Department has established 11 kindergartens for children with special needs and plans to increase the number next year, she added.
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