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Special Education Officers Complete Training in Processes and Procedures of Special Education

The Ministry of Education’s Special Education Unit has trained sixteen Special Education Officers in the processes and procedures of special education. The one-week course was a part of the ministry’s effort to strengthen the foundation of the country’s National Resource Center for Inclusive Education (NARCIE). The training dubbed “Evaluating Individualized Education Program Development” came to an end today. And, this afternoon the officers from across the country received their certificates of completion. Special Education Coordination for MoECST, Christy Almeida spoke about the impact the training is expected to have.

Christy Almeida, Founder and Executive Chair of Autism Belize: “With the Special Education Unit, we’ve been looking at evaluating the processes, the procedures and everything for NaRCIE, the National Resource Center for Inclusive Education, as the specialised unit countrywide and looking at how we can streamline processes to provide better service to families and better support to schools. So we’ve been looking at putting our forms electronically so that parents can fill it out and just automatically submit it. We’ve been looking at all our test batches and assessments that we can do and all the evaluations and the writing we can do and so as a part of all this new improvement and expansion of the Special Education Unit, we have a week long training with all the Special Education Officers, the NaRCIE officers countrywide. They all came in to Belize City and we had a specialist who actually is in one of the top positions for the district of Illinois in Special Ed. and she gave us, out of the kindness of her heart, flew down to Belize for her Spring break and spent it with us evaluating our procedures and then working with our NaRCIE officers to improve on their report writing and then developing IEPs because we really want to make it standards throughout the country. So that if we’re recommending for a student in a school to have an IEP, we’re going to be able to assist that school and that teacher with the writing, have a form for them, and show them how it’s done. So almost like we trained the trainers, it’s been a week long event but it was fabulous. I got way more out of it than I thought I would. I think my job just went a hell of a lot more complicated too because we were talking about, you know, some of the drawbacks and the obstacles and then recommendations and then she gave her recommendations and so we have a long list of things to do to improve on our services but we have a template to follow, a roadmap, and all the officers are energised and super excited about it so I know they’re going back into their districts with a lot of new knowledge, with a lot of renewed energy and focus knowing that this is a priority for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology, that they are extremely valuable to the ministry and that we are going to support them and give them all the tools that they need so that they can support our families.”

The certificates were handed out by the Ministry of Education’s Chief Executive Officer, Diane Maheia, and Chief Education Officer Yolanda Gongora.