Written by: Hu Jiaxin
Last update date: 2021-06-17 07:47
Knowledge-based society values lifelong learning and continuing education. However, students with special education needs (SEN students) have never had the opportunity to pursue further studies after they leave the middle school campus.
The University of Education established the "Jockey Club Special Education Youth Academy" in June last year to provide one to three years of application and training courses for SEN students graduating from the sixth form, such as table games, floral design, photography and media creation, etc. Workplace internships allow students to add value to their knowledge and skills.
Some physically handicapped students who have taken a one-year course stated that they were confused about the way ahead. Even if they are lucky than their special school students, they can enter a technical school after graduating from high school, but they have difficulty finding their ideal aspirations until they enroll in the academy course. Later, she explored her interest in floral art and broadened her imagination for the future.
The 25-year-old Huang Kaiqing became interested in floral art after taking the course and would like to join the related industry in the future.
(Photo by Hu Jiaxin)
Blind in the left eye, Kaiqing once felt lost in the way ahead
Huang Kaiqing, 25, had abnormal white shadows on her brain when she was three years old. She underwent surgery at the age of six and removed the affected part.
However, after the operation, her left eye was completely blind, her comprehension ability became weaker than the average person, and her left body was inconvenient to move. Since elementary school, she enrolled in the Hong Kong Red Cross Kennedy Center.
In 2018, Kaiqing took the five Diploma Examinations, and her scores were "annihilated" and there was no hope for further studies.
Looking around at the classmates around me, a small number of students with excellent results in the diploma examination continued to advance to higher education, and most of them went to work in sheltered workshops. She said that her physical ability was acceptable, so she went to the Zhanliang Skills Development Center to take an office practice course. Can I adapt to the society?” However, after studying for a year and a half, she found that the course was not suitable for her needs, nor her ambitions. She was once confused about the way forward. Fortunately, she learned from a friend that the University of Education offered a youth course. Yuan, let special students continue to study and explore more ways out, transfer to relevant courses last summer.
I found that I was interested in flower art in class at the University of Education
In the past academic year, she took classes on the campus of the University of Education, feeling the "university" life.
She pointed to a lot of personal growth, learning time management, and more "careful" to academics.
She said that she enjoys experiencing different areas of interest in various courses, especially in the process of learning flower arrangement, she discovered her interest in flower art, and she intends to devote herself to this industry in the future.
Two years before graduation, she and a group of trainees are actively accumulating workplace experience. At the beginning of this month, she started a one-month clerical internship in a commercial organization. "If there is no such course, it may be in a housing company, so there will be more work experience." , It may not necessarily open up to the imagination of the future.
The course does not have qualifications to recognize the application of practice and cultivate the ability to collaborate and communicate
The Special Learning Needs and Inclusive Education Center of the University of Education has received a donation of 18 million yuan from the Shijo Club Charitable Trust Fund. Last year, the "Jockey Club Special Education Youth Academy" was established to provide S6 school leavers with special education needs for a period of one to three years. Continuing education courses on university campuses.
The courses cover career planning, table games, floral design, photography and media creation, etc. Students do not need to pay tuition fees and can be awarded a certificate of completion after graduation.
The principal of the Academy, Su Jianqun, said that the courses are not academic and do not have qualification recognition. However, through application courses and training, and training SEN students with nine common skills such as problem-solving, collaboration and communication, they are equipped to enter the workplace.
He said that the courses emphasize internship experience, and the proportion of applied learning in each course accounts for 60% to 70%. For example, students studying flower art can go to the flower shop to learn flower arrangement, and students taking the "Eco Garden" course can go to farms to practice organic farming, etc. .
He pointed out that the Academy has also tried its best to arrange short-term internships for students in institutions. Currently, one-third of the students have been hired to work in information technology companies, e-sports companies, and non-governmental organizations.
Su Jianqun pointed out that the academy will recruit a new batch of students this month, with about 35 places. Last year, it attracted about 140 applicants. The response was very enthusiastic. In the end, 38 students were admitted. Most of the students suffer from autism, hyperactivity and Mentally retarded.
The director of the Jockey Club Special Education Youth Academy Xian Quanfeng (left) and the principal Su Jianqun pointed out that SEN students leave the middle school campus and still need continuous education.
(Photo by Hu Jiaxin)
The sheltered workshop stays in the envelope, and the Vocational Training and Education Bureau provides SEN students with performance education
There are currently nearly 65,000 SEN students in Hong Kong, of which 8,290 are studying in special schools.
Xian Quanfeng, director of the Academy and Center, said that after SEN students have completed sixth form, there are three main options. Those with better grades can go to colleges and universities, and those with lower grades can go to the skills training schools under the VTC. They have multiple disabilities. Or special students with mental disabilities will go to sheltered workshops or day activity centers.
He pointed out that the principals of many special education schools reported that the diversified paths of SEN students are false, especially those from non-mainstream schools. Unless they are hired in the labor market, most of them can only choose the worst third path.
Xian Quanfeng pointed out that sheltered workshops or day activity centers still remain in the concept of rehabilitation. "It is only a place to house SEN students." The related vocational training cannot keep up with social development.
He gave an example. Workshops are generally contracted out for packaging tasks such as "entering envelopes" and "entering chopsticks", but such jobs have gradually been replaced by industrial production. It is out of date to maintain relevant professional training and does not help SEN students integrate into society and become independent. life.
He believes that with the progress of society, all school leavers of special education have the need to continue learning, but most of them are not qualified to enter tertiary institutions. He suggested that the Education Bureau provide SEN students with opportunities for performance education; the SWD should also gradually Reform the sheltered workshops, add educational elements in addition to vocational training, and develop their nine common abilities to help them adapt and join the society.
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