LAHORE:On the eve of international day for Persons with Disabilities, the Punjab government launched special education policy here on Tuesday to ensure that Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Punjab can start the next decade with a more welcoming, inclusive and improved education system that meets their needs.
The launch event was held at a local club. Punjab Minister for Special Education Chaudhry Muhammad Akhlaq, Secretary Special Education Department (SpED) Syed Javed Iqbal Bukhari, Deputy Head of DFID Pakistan Kemi Williams, other officials and a large number of individuals from the government sector, NGOs and the development sector attended the event. The policy aims at improving governance within the Special Education Department Punjab and also enhancing cooperation between different departments involved in education. The number of educational institutions dedicated to SpED would be increased and enhanced, and the role of the Research and Development Unit would be made more central to provide analyses key to better decision-making.
During the event, SpED highlighted the stories of inspiring Pakistanis who are also PWDs to show what the next generation of Pakistanis who will benefit from this policy could look like. These individuals have achieved and surmounted incredible odds, the policy will help the next generation achieve the same in an environment that recognises they have much to contribute and nurture their talents. This featured the story of Abdul Razzaq, former captain of two times World Cup winner Blind Cricket Team of Pakistan, who also attended this event.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, Ch Muhammad Akhlaq said the government was not treating special education as an afterthought; but making it central to what the government intended to do. “We intend to make sure PWDs not just receive an education, but quality education. We are incorporating certain classes of PWDs into our regular stream of schools, they will be educated together so they no longer live separate lives,” he added.
Syed Javed Iqbal Bukhari and Kemi Williams also spoke. The event was held in collaboration with UKaid and Cambridge Education.
special children: The special students of Punjab University’s Child Welfare Centre through their outstanding co-curricular performance here on Tuesday expressed that they carried special strengths and efforts must be made to polish and utilise their abilities for making them useful part of society. The event was organised in connection with the International Day for Persons with Disabilities by PU Child Welfare Centre (CWC) at Dr Pervez Hasan Environmental Law Auditorium with the collaboration of Crescent Model School.
PU Vice Chancellor Prof Niaz Ahmad, former VC Lt-Gen (r) Arshad Mahmood, Department of Special Education Chairperson Dr Humaira Bano, CWC Chairperson Ayesha Wajihullah, faculty members, special children and their parents participated in the ceremony.
The special students presented Qawali to articulate their love with Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH). Through a tableau, special children highlighted problems being faced by them regarding their admissions in schools of normal children. They highlighted the grievances of Kashmiri mothers who were losing their young children and living a miserable life. Addressing the ceremony, Prof Niaz Ahmad said Allah had bestowed special children with special abilities and we must encourage them. He said PU administration was taking steps to provide training to special children.
Lt Gen (r) Arshad Mahmood said: “We must extend maximum help to special children and those special children, who have relatively better health conditions, should be admitted in general schools.” Dr Humaira Bano thanked PU VC Prof Niaz Ahmad for recruitment of teachers and staff for CWC and extending maximum support for the welfare of special children.