Educators being trained to teach children with OCD, other learning disabilities

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The Ministry of Education in partnership with the CARICOM Secretariat and the G. Halley Marville Trust launched a training programme on Tuesday targeting teachers to raise awareness about children with Learning Difficulties and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

OCD is a common long-lasting disorder where someone expresses repetitive behaviour and thoughts uncontrollably.

The programme is part of the Ministry of Education’s plan for an all-inclusive education system and was launched at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston Georgetown.

Director of the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD), Jennifer Cumberbatch said this new programme will focus on engaging with children with various learning disabilities.

“What we are doing is learning more about what’s going on with the children so we can meet their needs,” Cumberbatch said.

According to the Director, parts of the programme are being done in classrooms.

“Everybody is important to us in the education system, whether you have a learning disability, a physical disability or not and so this is one way of bringing great awareness to children who have special education needs.”

Director of NCERD, Jennifer Cumberbatch

While the focus of the programme will be on special educational schools, teachers from mainstream schools in all educational regions will be trained.

As further training continues with the programme, teachers will be able to recognise children with special needs.

The programme will also focus on improving the education system with children who have difficulty learning by introducing activities that are suited for their capacity.

“We have to treat them differently because they have certain needs…some children have need to move all over the place, they cannot sit still and learn so you provide things, activities for them to do and from listening to them and seeing what they do, you can figure out what’s going on with them and provide the activities that are necessary for them to learn better,” Cumberbatch said.

The education system will benefit tremendously as other aspects of the programme will be rolled out in the future.

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