A two day Albinism workshop for teachers was held this week at the Fiji Society for the Blind gym in Vatuwaqa to empower and provide teachers with accurate and updated information on the best ways to facilitate the needs of students with albinism in Fiji.
While speaking at the event, Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Hon. Rosy Akbar said that the Workshop is a way of providing a platform for open dialogue amongst teachers to discuss the health, physical, social and emotional issue that prevents students with albinism from exceling in the classroom.
“You as teachers and education officers will be provided practical skills, information on learning technologies and teaching methodologies which will address the impairment and albinism condition so that you are able to respond to the needs of the students,” said Minister Akbar.
“The Ministry of Education (MOE) is doing its best efforts in strengthening inclusive education options for those with disabilities and their families around Fiji, while they continue to support the services that special schools provide to children with particular and complex disabilities.
“It has been revealed that since 1967 Fiji has provided education for many children with disabilities, including those with albinism through the special and mainstream schools.”
Minister Akbar added that the Fijian Government is now serious about mainstreaming schools throughout Fiji after the increase in the number of students with certain disabilities and albinism in the country.
Dr. Moorgate Whitfield who is a Deontologist from Australia and has been part of the Fiji Society for the Blind in Fiji states that persons with disabilities or Albinism should not be differentiated since they are also part of the society today.
“Those children who have albinism are not different from you and I rather they are also part of our society today and they should be treated equally,” said Whitfield.
The Executive director of the Fiji Society for the Blind, Barbara Farouk says there will be projects held on disabilities and Albinism this year whereby, the major focus is on hosting awareness on albinism in the country.