Spark Child Development Centre recently embarked on a journey to create more equal learning opportunities for children with special needs with the launch of two initiatives advocating for inclusivity in schools with the invitation of teachers from SJK(C) Nan Kai to its pilot workshop on 26th November, at Spark Child Development Centre's headquarters in Kota Damansara.
Children with special needs have been kept out of the limelight in the education sector, which has led to segregation and discrimination among the students. With that, Spark Child Development Centre is implementing this workshop to help teachers learn how to accommodate children in different classroom settings.
With the support from SJK(C) Nan Kai, the objective of the pilot workshop is to help Malaysia's mainstream schools better understand how to make adaptations for children with physical or learning disabilities in the classroom or school settings. Additionally, this workshop intends to assist mainstream schools in their understanding of common children's disabilities like Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Dyslexia, and others.
“At Spark Child Development Centre, our main mission is always to ensure children with special needs are able to be accepted by the general public and learn how to adapt in a varied environment before they even step foot in schools,” said Dr Tan Gek Ling, Founder and CEO of Spark Child Development Centre.
"We are truly grateful for the opportunity to partner up with SJK(C) Nan Kai to provide a meaningful workshop with complimentary access for primary and secondary school teachers to learn about inclusion and readiness for school."
Spark Child Development Centre has managed to raise approximately RM16,000 with the generous support from reputable parties to make schools a better place for children with special needs. All donations received are contributed to the PIBG of SJK(C) Nan Kai for the development of inclusion programmes and facilities for children with special needs in the foreseeable future.
Given the positive reception to the pilot workshop conducted with teachers from SJK(C) Nan Kai, SJK(C) Chong Fah Phit Chee and Premfield International School, Spark Child Development Centre is confident that more schools in Malaysia will benefit from this awareness campaign which is in line with the Malaysian Education Blueprint’s target of 75 percent children with special needs in inclusive education programmes by 2023.
To better champion the inclusion for children with special needs in schools, Spark Child Development Centre has also partnered with the University of Technology Sarawak (UTS) to establish a mutually beneficial relationship based on research, academic, and industrial collaboration, allowing both parties to undertake technological development to assist teachers, parents, and caregivers in diagnosing disabled children.
Some of the initiatives that have been confirmed include the standardized developmental screening and assessment tools, and a health initiative project to assist communities in Malaysia with learning difficulties and stunting rates among children.
Furthermore, the collaboration intends to kickstart technology development, which includes applications, websites, and a variety of other essential technologies to assist parents, caregivers, and even teachers in schools in diagnosing children with disabilities. Having said that, this also contributes to greater collaboration in human development.