In the coming years, MOE intends to simplify things for pupils with special needs. Now students with hearing impairment can expect more support from some of the designated schools in Singapore. They will be learning and playing with the mainstream students in and out of class at some designated mainstream primary and secondary schools.
What is planned?
As per the statement, in 2017, a Beatty Secondary School will consider students with moderate to severe hearing loss (and who use sign language) in Secondary 1 students. This is a replacement for Balestier Hill Secondary, which does not have a Secondary 1 for this year (2016) and Boon Lay Secondary School, which is a designated secondary school for such students.
Similarly, the primary level admissions for students with hearing loss will start from 2018. Though currently, they attend the Lighthouse School and the Canossian School (the Special Education schools), they will be allowed to pursue their academics in a designated primary school located in a central location.
What will be the benefit of these schools?
As these schools have a small number of students, this action by MOE will help to relocate them to a single designated secondary school and provide a greater sense of community and better opportunities.
The designated schools will hire specially trained teachers who will support students with hearing impairment in different ways including sign interpretation, help in the use of assistive technology devices, social emotional support and much more.
While they will be more open to mutual communication through signing, they will also benefit from social interactions and peer support. Besides, better pooling and strengthening of specialized resources will be added to the benefits list.