Five graduates of the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) in Kiribati have been assisting with the development of children with special needs through their role as teachers at the only school for specialised education in the country.
These graduates, are among 35 teachers at the Kiribati School and Centre for Children with Special Needs (KSCCSN), looking after more than 180 registered children between the ages of two to 15.
Certificate III in Children’s Services graduate, Ms Anna Marouea who is the Room Leader - Hearing-Impaired, says studying at APTC has enabled her to communicate and interact better with children at KSCCSN.
“Working effectively with people and being able to adapt to any situation in the classroom are some of the skills I learned at APTC that has enabled me to get to where I am today.”
Fellow graduate and Room Leader - Cerebral Palsy, Ms Temaete Buraua adds that APTC has improved their confidence in teaching, and feels that such training is critical for teachers especially in the field of specialised education for children with special needs.”
Two other Children’s Services graduates, Ms Teannako Teikaoti and Ms Banga Mikaere also hold supervisory roles at KSCCSN as the Room leader - Intellectual and Head of the Blind and Low Vision Division.
While studying at APTC, they learned how to develop and facilitate programs targeting the development and learning needs of children.
KSCCSN Office Manager – Disability, Ms Angelica Palmer says that KSCCSN teachers including APTC graduates, work tirelessly to provide a safe and nurturing environment for the children.
“They incorporate specialised teaching methods based on each child’s distinctive learning ability, and equipment such as the braille typewriter and computers for the hearing-impaired children, into their daily teaching plans,” she explains.
Ms Palmer, who is an APTC alumnus, says that her past experience in leadership roles, in addition to the APTC training she received, has helped her achieve goals set out in the school’s strategic plan, make decisions and interact effectively with staff, teachers and children.
APTC Kiribati alumni have been assisting KSCCSN over the years. In 2011, APTC carpentry graduates assisted with the renovation of the school buildings, with support from the Office of the Beretitenti (President) amounting to AUD 5000. Recently, the alumni got together and conducted a clean-up activity at the school.