Scheme to help special education school leavers get jobs to be scaled up

Students at Pathlight School’s campus in Ang Mo Kio.
Students at Pathlight School’s campus in Ang Mo Kio. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Special needs students have received more support to find employment after graduating through a school-to-work scheme, which will be expanded next year.

The programme, started a year ago, has helped place 30 students, who graduated from five special education (Sped) schools last year, on work attachments.

Acting Minister for Education Ng Chee Meng, who gave this update yesterday at the biennial Special Education Learning Day, said that employers are interested in hiring some of the Sped graduates after they finish training.

"These graduates are acquiring important work skills and gaining greater confidence as contributing individuals in their work place," said Mr Ng, who was speaking to educators at the Resorts World Convention Centre.

The programme will be scaled up to more Sped schools in phases from next year, he said.

The programme was developed by the Ministry of Education (MOE), the Ministry of Social and Family Development, and SG Enable, a government-established body that offers services for people with disabilities.

The schools now in the programme are Pathlight School, APSN Delta Senior School, Grace Orchard School, Metta School and Minds Woodlands Gardens School.

Mr Ng added that MOE has improved the quality of Sped in the last five years, through efforts such as literacy and numeracy programmes.

It will increase funding for schools to hire IT professionals and use technology for learning, he added.

He also said that MOE and National Council of Social Service will continue to work with Sped schools to ensure salaries for staff remain competitive so that they can attract and retain quality staff.