THE PROVISION OF SERVICES FOR LEARNERS IN SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES
1. The college to consider implementing Recommendation 12 on page 21 of the report which reads thus “BOCODOL to consider conducting a needs assessment to research on who these learners are and whether the college has the capacity to handle them”.
The above recommendation is seen as very crucial if the college is to embark into a meaningful implementation of educational services to the learners living under special circumstances as a needs’ assessment will inform the college on:
- what partnerships to set up and by when
- which type of learning disability to consider supporting first and why
- what resources will need to be put in place by who
- what needs to be done to existing materials to support these learners
- the scope and capacity of the college and how far the college can handle such learners
- what committees will need to be put in place to start this project.
2. The Division is well aware that the college is already supporting some learners under special circumstances such as the inmates and the remote learners. The support to these learners will need to be intensified and the findings from the needs assessment may help further improve on the current service.
3. The Division realizes from this report that the area of special needs is very wide and thus has financial, manpower and resource implications in terms of implementation. This therefore calls for the college to consult widely before it can zero down on those areas of special need that it can handle in terms of offering special educational services. This therefore means that at the initial stage the college has to start small and build on it continually as it projects into the future.
4. Even though the report lists a number of organizations that offer special education, as a starting point the following stakeholders were identified for the needs assessment as they are already providing the service and may yield immediate feedback;
- Cheshire Foundation
- School of the Deaf
- Senior Secondary Schools
- Ministry of Home Affairs
- Central Resource Centre
- Association for the Blind
The college needs to establish if it can take its learners with special needs to these institutions rather than attempt to set up its own special education unit which might not be attainable in the short term, sponsorship issues, as well as the college capacity to handle such learners.