By Patricia Keamo – EMTV News Cadet Journalist
The Cheshire Centre for Disability Services held its annual integration ceremony today.
This year’s theme for the integration ceremony is “Empowering Children with disabilities and Ensuring Inclusive Education and Equality.”
The integration graduation ceremony held at the end of every year is to give formal recognition to children with special needs and children without special needs by certifying them.
This formal recognition is for the children who have made some progress and are ready to join mainstream schools.
For the children without special needs, it is their graduation ceremony, but for the children living with special needs, it is referred to as an integration-meaning to combine together.
UNICEF representative, Michelle Murphy, congratulated the graduating students and thanked their parents for giving the children the opportunity to be educated in the private sector.
Speaking at the integration ceremony was Isabel Kila, a student at the University of Papua New Guinea also living with special needs. Isabel is a member of the Cheshire school board as well as a Young Voice Member.
Isabel thanked the parents and encouraged the children, saying “all good things don’t come easily.”
Partners and donors of Cheshire like UNICEF, PNGEI, and Coral Sea Hotels attended the integrated ceremony.
The 53 children integrated today received awards and certificates and are ready to proceed into the mainstream schools next year.