Abang Johari (second left) presents the grant to a representative from the Kuching Autistic Association, witnessed by Nancy (left) and Fatimah (third right). – Photo by Galileo Petingi

KUCHING (Oct 28): Sarawak will be sending more special education teachers for training, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg

He said these teachers will be trained to provide education for children with special needs in the state at the preschool level.

He said this initiative is carried out by the Ministry of Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development via specialised training for preschool children.

“I have provided a special allocation to Swinburne University here for training these teachers. As the university has expertise at its main campus in Melbourne, our teachers will receive their training at the Sarawak campus.

“If the teachers wish to pursue a Master’s Degree in special education such as for those with autism, we will send them to the Melbourne campus,” he said.

He was speaking during the state-level Autism Awareness Campaign at the Sarawak Art School in Santubong today.

Abang Johari said such effort was a form of intervention for children with autism as having these special education teachers can facilitate the approach to effectively teaching children with autism.

Drawing inspiration from Singapore, Abang Johari pointed out the republic’s approach to helping children with autism, emphasing the importance of specialised teachers.

These teachers, he added, are equipped to cater to the distinctive needs of children with autism, as their conditions can vary significantly from those of typical students.

Singapore, he noted, had numerous programmes designed to assist children with autism, underscoring the value of raising awareness and the future of the younger generation.

At the event, he also presented a grant of RM20,000 each to the Kuching Autistic Association, Sibu Autistic Association, and the Kuching Autism Community Guidance Association (PeKA).

Among the dignitaries present at the event were federal Minister for Women, Family, and Community Development, Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri; and state Minister of Women, Childhood, and Community Wellbeing Development, Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah.