Education regulator pledges help for SEN students during pandemic

The Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ) has announced that the department is stepping up its measures in providing support to students with Special Education Needs (SEN) amid the closures of education institutions.
Since late February, nine rehabilitation service providers have been commissioned by the DSEJ to offer assistance to students with SEN, a bureau official announced yesterday at the Health Bureau (SSM) daily press briefing.
From March, the education regulator took one step further to instruct schools with SEN service teams to provide similar assistance to their SEN students, as explained by Leong I On, head of Division for Secondary and Vocational Education of the DSEJ.
The education official, however, stressed that all such assistance was only provided under the circumstances in which the schools concerned were well-prepared and approvals were obtained from parents as well as the SSM.
Furthermore, the official disclosed that digital means were available to provide support to parents of SEN students. “Our therapists have made videos to demonstrate supportive measures to parents, so that parents can use them on their children,” Leong said. “The DSEJ significantly cares about the welfare of SEN students.”
Depicting essential skills for daily life, these videos were made as another tool for parents to help their students during the school suspension period.
On the other hand, in terms of emotional support for students, Leong disclosed that the bureau has set up a website for that particular purpose. The website consists of hotline numbers for the nine rehabilitation service providers who work on emotional support, as well as the hotline number for the DSEJ.
“We have so far received quite a number of calls from students, parents and even teachers,” revealed Leong. He also said that not all calls received were related to emotional support. Some called to make inquiries or provide comments and suggestions.
Furthermore, following a previous call – made by a local parent to complain that her kids were not behaving well at home – received by the local public radio, the DSEJ official also made reference to the bureau’s service supporting parents.
“We have made some videos addressing that in the series ‘DSEJ 2 Minutes’, in the hopes of helping parents and students,” the DSEJ official said. Meanwhile, the bureau has long described the current pandemic as a lesson for students. Therefore, videos were also made on this aspect to educate students and parents.
A concern was raised at the press conference regarding graduating secondary school students who may have changed their minds and decided to stay in Macau for their tertiary education but might have missed the deadline for university admission. When questioned whether the DSEJ will take any action to help these students, Leong refrained from making a promise, but stressed that the bureau has been helping graduating students.
“Regarding university admission, it is recommended that students ask their respective universities for information,” Leong said.
The SSM has also noted that the 50-year-old female patient who was earlier identified as having a severe case was, as of yesterday, in a stable condition, although she was on a ventilator. The Conde S. Januário Hospital (CHCSJ) pledged to employ all possible means to treat the patient and help her recover.

Categories Headlines Macau