Learning disabilities no barrier to self-development
By Jude Toyat
Students with learning disabilities must learn to master as many skills as possible to be better able to help themselves and be of service to the general public, said State Education Department private education and special education sector head Vendery Milah Nata.
She was speaking at the closing ceremony of the state-level Special Education Skills Carnival at Yayasan Sarawak multi-purpose hall on August 11.
“This programme has met its objective to produce students with learning disabilities to be active, creative and able to compete in self-management. It is a platform to highlight the talent, interest and creativity in the vocational field for them.
“We will try to make this an annual event that helps to produce more talented students with special needs in future.
She called on students to get as much knowledge and skills as possible while they were still in school to equip themselves before they go on to become members of the community.
The one-day carnival was organised by Special Education Unit – Sarawak Department of Education, and Padawan District Education Office in collaboration with SMK Matang Jaya to disseminate skills concepts among students with learning disabilities.
About 100 primary and secondary school students and eight District Education Departments took part in the skills competition including PPD Padawan, PPD Kuching, PPD Samarahan, PPD Bau, PPD Serian, PPD Lundu, PPD Simunjan and PPD Miri.
Five categories in the competition were artificial flower arrangement, watermelon carving, makeup and grooming, western cooking, and felt cloth stitching.
Penta Payang from Padawan was named the winner for the artificial flower arrangement category, while Cecelia Wiwie Joseph Jeffery from Bau, and Nursyahirah Samat from Samarahan were placed second and third respectively.
Meanwhile, for the watermelon carving category, Patrick Samio Jama was named the winner, while Nick Bronson Junai from Lundu, and Alexius Joel Kalon from Miri were first and second runner-ups.
There were two categories under makeup and grooming which included bridal and casual.
Sh. Saidatul Nuramira and Nur Nadirah Syamsol from Kuching won the bridal category, while Dyg Noor Azuwa and Fazzirawaty from Padawan won for the casual category.
Felicia Lam and Albert Jahil from Lundu, and Nazrina Suid and Nur Arina Bujang from Padawan were placed second in the bridal and casual category respectively.
Second runner-up for the bridal category goes to Deplincia Wayne and Shasha Amanina from Padawan.
Western cooking winners were Siti Hamidah Sabri and Hamdan Yusup from Kuching, Joyce Tonie from Samarahan, and Mosley Steven Kalong and Darlene Liging Ranson from Miri who were placed first, second and third respectively.
Last but not least, for the felt cloth stitching, Walter Nian Mackenzie Cecelia from Miri, Mastura Mazelan from Padawan, and Rosman Yusof from Kuching were winner, first and second runner-ups respectively.
Meanwhile, as for the overall winner, champion went to PPD Padawan, first runner-up was PPD Samarahan, and second runner-up was the PPD Kuching.
The champions will get the change to represent Sarawak in the national-level competition to be held in Selangor this October.
Other attendees at the ceremony include SMK Matang Jaya principal Zakiah Abdul Hamid, Padawan Deputy District Education officer Chong Choi Ling, Unit Private Education and Special Education, State Education Department head of unit Abdul Hamid Adenan, education officers, teachers and students.