Grand Turk, TCI, February 7, 2017 –There is heightened interest in the region regarding the need for improved services for children and youth with exceptionalities. Discourse from regional and international conferences and professional gatherings have highlighted the fact that there are common issues affecting the field in the Caribbean, and the rest of the world.
Betty Ann Been and Noreane Lightbourne-McKoy from the Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services along with Candice Malcolm and Edgar Howell of the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Library Services joined the Jamaican Ministry of Education, Youth and Information and delegations from Antigua, Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago at the Jamaica Pegasus for a conversation on key considerations for preparation of children and youth for life beyond school. The three-day Special Education Regional Roundtable was held under the theme “Preparing Productive Citizens for an Inclusive Society: Benefits of the Collaborative Process”.
The conference Roundtable brought together policy specialists, researchers, school administrators and practicing special education specialists. The conference Roundtable format provided an intimate setting for focused discussion. The objective was to produce purposeful, relevant and actionable outcomes which may enhance our approach to achieve holistic provision in the special education sector.
The presence of the TCI delegation at the conference Roundtable underscores the government’s commitment to transforming service provision for children and young people with exceptionalities.
The new Minister responsible for Education endorsed that Special Education is a key priority for the Ministry and is looking forward to the report from this team. It is expected that the report will be instrumental in informing the work of the Multi agency working group that was set up to review the Special Education Policy that was recently passed. The working group will provide the Minister with recommendations for a pathway to strengthening current services.