Special needs school in peril

Published : 10:00 am  March 24, 2015 | No comments so far |  |  (679) reads | 

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Text & pics by Dayarathna Pathirana
Parents of a special needs school in Gorakana, Panadura yesterday claimed the lives of their children were in danger as a two-storey building in the school was on the verge of collapse.
 
The school, Jeelan College, has a special section for special needs children, attached to its primary school, which is attended by a number of children in the area. However, parents complained the school did not have necessary facilities for their children.

 

“The classes for special needs children are conducted in a small hut sheltered by metal sheets. Even though there are several classes in the section there is only one teacher. And since she finds it difficult to look after the entire section, two parents help out every day”

 
A building within the school premises has been abandoned by the school authorities as it was unsafe. However, students have made the dangerous habit of playing inside the building during their free time.
Parents said authorities are yet to take measures to demolish the building. “The classes for special needs children are conducted in a small hut sheltered by metal sheets. Even though there are several classes in the section there is only one teacher. And since she finds it difficult to look after the entire section, two parents help out every day,” they said.

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To make matters worse, parents complained that students had to cross the main road and enter another part of the school to use the bathrooms.
 
When questioned about the measures that would be taken Western Province Educationa Secretary Daya Senerath said there was a scarcity of teachers needed for special needs students.
 
“I have requested the Ministry of Education to provide us with more teachers. They informed us that they would employ degree holders soon and provide them with the necessary training before they are transferred to fill in the vacancies. We will be able to resolve this issue soon. I will also look into the building that is on the verge of collapse and ensure the necessary measures are taken,” he said.