Smart Nation push should help special needs students
President Halimah Yacob said this should be done as part of the country’s Smart Nation push, a national effort to support better living using technology.
She was speaking during a community engagement visit yesterday to Metta School, which caters to students from the ages of seven to 21 who have autism and mild intellectual disabilities.
President Halimah cited the school’s virtual simulation systems, which are activated by motion sensors and allow students to experience everyday scenarios.
Students can practise tasks such as taking the MRT and making purchases at the supermarket, all within a safe environment.
During her tour of the premises, the President saw Metta School’s different vocational facilities, where students aged between 17 and 21 receive vocational training as part of the curriculum.
To prepare students for the workforce, Metta School offers Institute of Technical Education skills certification in areas such as baking, food preparation and housekeeping operation.
This is Madam Halimah’s fourth visit this year to a school that supports students with special needs. She had previously visited Beatty Secondary, Westwood Primary and Zhenghua Secondary schools.
During the visit, the President expressed her hopes that employers would be more willing to provide opportunities to students with special needs, as well as exercise greater patience and flexibility when training them.
Referring to Sweden’s Special Introduction and Follow-up Support programme, which helps individuals with special needs to find lasting jobs, she said Singapore’s society as a whole has a part to play in integrating those with special needs.
“At the end of the day, it takes more than just the school to do the job of helping our students with special needs. It requires a whole community,” she said.
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