The inclusion of special education needs (SEN) learners in mainstream classrooms, entertainment and sports activities is crucial and becoming a reality in Mauritius, stated the Vice-Prime Minister (VPM), Minister of Education, Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, yesterday morning, in Phoenix. She was, in fact, effecting two site visits at the Emirates Airlines Swimming Pool and the Sir Abdool Raman Osman State Secondary School.
The aim of the visits was to take stock of two programmes being organised by the Special Education Needs Authority (SENA) in close collaboration with the Mauritius Sports Council (MSC), namely the ‘Nager C’est Vital’ and summer camp. The projects seek to engage SEN learners, aged between five to 20 years, in swimming and other interactive as well as physical activities, during their summer school holidays.
Representatives from the SENA and the MSC; SEN learners; and other personalities were also present.
In a statement, VPM Dookun-Luchoomun stressed on the significance of involving SEN students in swimming and other recreational pursuits. One of the main goals of her Ministry, she pointed out, is to give the opportunity to all pupils including SEN students to learn how to swim. The VPM added that the two projects gear towards fostering the development of social relationships and in so doing, improve the interpersonal skills of SEN learners. On this score, Mrs Dookun-Luchoomun urged parents to bring their children to relax and swim in the sea or the pool.
It is recalled that the two programmes kickstarted on 21 November and will conclude on 17 December 2023. Some 85 learners from the SEN schools of the four educational zones have registered themselves to benefit from the numerous swimming, fun and collaborative activities organised, three days per week for each batch. Participation in these activities will help SEN students to overcome the fear of swimming and boost their gross motor and agility skills.