NEWS

$18.9m For People With Special Needs

“Gone are the days when children with special needs were either ig­nored, misunderstood, or separat­ed and kept in special schools with­out giving an opportunity to study in a normal way,”
22 Mar 2022 15:27
$18.9m For People With Special Needs
Students of Suva Special School celebrate World Down Syndrome Day on March 21. Photo: Sheenal Charan

The Fijian Government has allocated $18.9 million in its Budget to address the needs of people with disabilities.

This was highlighted by the Min­ister for Education Premila Kumar during the World Down Syndrome Day event at the Suva Special School yesterday.

Ms Kumar said this did not in­clude the $90 million which was set aside as allowance for people with disabilities.

She said the Fijian Government would ensure that no Fijian was left behind, especially those living with disabilities.

“Gone are the days when children with special needs were either ig­nored, misunderstood, or separat­ed and kept in special schools with­out giving an opportunity to study in a normal way,” she said.

“There are 17 Special schools in the country with 1082 students and there are 46 special and inclusive schools around the country which have around 365 students.

“This has allowed parents to send their children to normal schools.”

Ms Kumar said the Government also provided special grants to en­courage the school management committee to embrace children with special needs.

“I request all Fijians to recognize that Down Syndrome children can be born in any family regardless of social, economic, cultural, reli­gious, or racial background. These children deserve the same dignity, love and respect.

Head Teacher Naren Prasad said since 2014, seven of their students had been working at Mcdonalds in Suva and Laucala Bay.

“These students are currently working, earning and living inde­pendently in their communities,” he said.



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