New Zealand schools are lacking resources to support intellectually disabled children throughout their education.
In a recent talk with Massey University Gina Rodgers IHC’s General Manager for Communication stressed the importance of these children being integrated in local schools, allowing equal opportunities.
Rodgers urges the importance of government directing further funding to all schools to aid in their education.
Additional funding would provide full time Teacher Aides in addition to specialist resources that are more suited to the way these students learn.
“Let’s get in here and give them the funding the need so they can have a crack at it.”, she says.
Having full time Teacher Aides allows the child to remain integrated in classrooms,
Former Teacher Aide of Redwood School, Wellington, Susan Alexander says, “the more a child was involved in the class the more the other children were able to understand the special needs child.”
While Mrs Alexander had large control over what the child worked often being the same topic as the class. However, funding was provided for only one course to aid her in effectively educating the child.
Gina believes intellectually disabled children should be provided with equal opportunities and therefore the lack of training in teacher aides is discouraging.
Rodgers stresses that Teacher Aides are a quality resource along with books, workbooks and hearing equipment. Teacher Aides should not need to supply any of this. “I often bought items from home to use” says Mrs Alexander.
Funding for these children’s education is an investment in their future.