Special school students will get more help: PM

Special school students will get more help: PM

Special education students will get more help, as part of the Government's drive to build a fair and inclusive society and help every child achieve his potential.

Making this pledge yesterday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the State was studying how to expand vocational education, and to help more of such students make the transition from school to the workplace.

"In other words, set things up so that from the Sped (special education) school environment - controlled, orderly, managed - we can prepare you gradually to be ready to work in an open environment," he said. Now, about a quarter of the 5,000 Sped students graduate with recognised vocational certification and find regular jobs.

PM Lee, who was speaking at the 10th anniversary of special education school Pathlight, also touched on other previously announced moves for the sector. Each of the 20 Sped schools will be twinned with a mainstream one to promote interaction, while teachers can benefit from scholarships for a master's in special education and professional learning teams.

The Government has also poured more resources into special education in recent years.

State spending per capita for such schools is substantially more than that for mainstream ones. Sped students also benefit from support, such as Edusave contributions, that their mainstream counterparts get. But beyond the school system, Singapore must also build a fair and just society which respects and treats everyone with dignity, especially those with disabilities, Mr Lee said.

This was why Singapore ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in August. SG Enable, a one-stop agency for persons with disabilities, is one way the State is supporting these citizens.

But it cannot be about only the Government. Three groups - families, the public, and the private and people sectors - also have crucial roles to play, said Mr Lee.

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