By Natasha Ovoi
Cheshire DisAbility Services Resource Centre Coordinator deemed parents being unsupportive as a big challenge for the development of children with disabilities.
Programs Coordinator Shirley Tuvi, in an interview with this news room expressed that qualified educators for children with disabilities can only do so much but need the help of families to give support to their loved ones in such conditions.
“We have some very supportive parents, while others are not and this is a challenge for us,” she said.
Ms Tuvi made this statement when elaborating on certain challenges faced under the Cheshire Disabilities Services School Program, for both Centre-based and Community-based.
She shared that there are 8 qualified teachers for students varying in ages from 4 – 16 years old; the required student to teacher ratio for the centre is strictly 15:1.
She explained that the centre provides classes for children with disabilities like hearing impairment, Speech Impairment, students with learning difficulties, visual impairment, and physical disabilities.
“Some of our students are without disabilities,” she added.
Ms. Tuvi identified that under Cheshire’s Inclusive Education program; children enrolled there have the opportunity of being “integrated” or move into one of the 23 mainstream schools the centre is partners with. They are mainly elementary and primary schools such as Sacred Heart, Ted Diro, Hagara and Evedahana Elementary and Primary Schools.
“Every year we have about 10 to 15 students who are integrated into the mainstream schools. Not everyone prospers with their education due to family support challenges and the schools they are attending,” she said.
“Children with disabilities need more support than the average child without disabilities,” she added.
The school based program under Cheshire Disabilities Services recorded enrolling 160 plus students last year for both centre-based and Community-based.
They are now looking at an increase to that statistic this year of which they will confirm by the end of the week as students are just starting classes this week.
Based in Port Moresby, Cheshire Disabilities Services is an NGO established in 1965, and is dedicated to providing a wide range of service for people living with disabilities.