Care of special children responsibility of state: Minister

Islamabad, April 05, 2016 (PPI-OT):Minister of State for Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhary Tuesday said that the state was responsible to provide all out support to the children with disabilities. Addressing a seminar held here at National Special Centre for Mentally Retarded Children on “World Autism Day”, he said that Islam is the first religion which took necessary steps for the facilities and necessities of the special citizens.

He urged the parents to take care of the children with disabilities as they deserved more attention. Dr. Tariq Fazal said, “We do not have complete data of special children due to the suspension of the process of census adding that terrorism in the country was the reason of the cancellation of census.” About one million children were suffering from disabilities in the country, he said adding the government was determined to facilitate them with latest facilities.

The Minister of State said that five special education centres of the capital have also been transferred to ministry of CADD and these would be upgraded with latest facilities through Prime Minister’s Education Reforms Program. He lauded the efforts of Ishrat Masood, Director General of the centre for her work despite lack of teachers and other staff in the institution. The government, he said was standing beside these special children with determination to educate them and to prepare them for their future endeavours, so that they can pass their life like normal people.

Dr. Tariq Fazal commended the efforts of National Special Centre for Mentally Retarded Children for building an Autism Unit on self help basis, saying the centre was working successfully for training and education of autistic children and awareness in the society. In this regard he said, with the cooperation of Autism Spectrum Disorder Resource Centres Lahore and Rawalpindi, workshops and training programs have been arranged for the professional training of teachers and other staff.

He said “we will allocate more funds to conduct more workshops in this regard.” He said an institution would be set up at PIMS for improving mental health of children, adding teachers would be sent to this institute for training in psychiatric subjects. In her opening remarks DG Special Education Ishrat Masood while talking about the history and performance of Autism Unit said that the first unit started working in April last year and till now the number of children have been increasing.

She urged all schools to welcome these special children while adopting inclusive education. She said new technology and equipments would be provided to improve the quality of learning and listening of special children. She sought government’s support for parents and teachers and to increase the expenditure of public educational institutions to improve their performance. Among other speakers Dr Hashim Raza of PIMS Hospital and Rukhsana Shah shed light on the handling and management of the special children. At the end, minister of state presented the shields to the special children.

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