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By Tiffanne RamphalThe $50.2M newly commissioned Harold B. Davis Special SchoolYesterday, Government in association with the Ptolemy Reid Rehabilitation Centre (PRRC) commissioned a $50.2Million school building in the latter entity’s Carmichael Street compound for the purpose of educating children with disabilities. The commissioning coincided with the celebration of the centre’s 47th year of existence.The new institution is named The Harold B. Davis Special School, after the first Chairman of the centre’s Board of Directors. A plaque,Discount NFL Jerseys, in his honour, was unveiled as part of the proceedings.Among those present at the ceremony were His Excellency, President Donald Ramotar; Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand; Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, the wife and family members of the late Mr. Davis, members of the PRRC’s Board and Administration and representatives of the various ministries.Construction of the 4,Wholesale Jerseys,160 sq. ft Special School commenced in December 2012 and was undertaken by Nabi Construction Inc., while Deen & Partners Architects undertook its structural design.The school was designed not only to satisfy the Disability Act, but in accordance with the International Building Code (IBC) 2013 and according to the Finance Minister, “can withstand comparison with any of its kind anywhere in the world.”The edifice boasts three fully operational classrooms, one Informational Technology (IT) room and three washrooms; all uniquely constructed and furnished to meet the needs of children, who are differently-able.The building has four entry points, each with a trailing ramp that is customized with friction grooves and lined with grab-rails. The doors are built to specific measurements and the door locks are situated at lower points for the convenience of those seated in wheelchairs. The washroom facilities have also been constructed in accordance with international standards for persons living with disabilities; with grab rails and pull bars.Further,Cheap Football Jerseys, the classrooms were intricately designed and decorated so as to meet the needs of not only the students who are limited in terms of mobility, but those who have limitations in coordination. Commenting on the colourful touch of the building, Mr. Deen Kamaludeen said this would stimulate learning as well as serve as a demarcation of different sections of the building for the impaired children. He said that the different colours help the children to recognize one space from another.The new school also boasts an alarm system that utilises flashing lights, since ringing of the bells can be harsh and cause those impaired to become disoriented. In addition to these unique features and many others, the school was built to reduce both long-term and short-term physical abuse, according to Mr. Kamaludeen.“It was designed in such a way to take some amount of physical abuse and reduce maintenance costs,” he said.The appointed Head Teacher of the new Special School, Anand Mangru, during his brief remarks, identified that the project was initiated following one of the many visits by Former President, Bharrat Jagdeo, to the Centre. Mangru said that the former President took note of the cramped condition of the classrooms and how difficult it was for the children to use the stairs, and/or the dilapidated wooden ramp and thereafter took steps to initiate the provision of a school at ground level. The classroom sessions, at that time, were being housed in the upper flat of the original Ptolemy Reid building.According to Mangru, things began to fall into place soon after, as the way was being made for the school to be brought to realization. This included a trip to neighbouring Suriname by the entire management team of the PRRC to check out the designs of the various special schools in that country.As it stands now, the Harold B Davis Special School accommodates sixty-five students; resident and non-resident; seven teachers and two aides. The Head Teacher took the opportunity to inform that come March 20,Cheap NHL Adidas Jerseys, the school is expected to have an expert in Special Education on board to train the staff and assist in the development of a curriculum among other tasks.Mr. Mangru added that the school offers the four core subjects (English, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies) as well as Information Technology, Art & Craft,Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale, Agricultural Science and Music and Movement. As would be expected, the delivery of the subjects would be tailored to meet the special needs of the students.Extra-curricular activities such as hydrotherapy (swimming), horseback riding, tours, among other outdoor activities and games are also included.The Head Teacher said that the school is now looking to improve on acquiring adequate and suitable staff for the school and to have a new building for the Vocational Training Centre (VTC),Cheap NFL Jerseys, for which funding has been approved by the Caribbean Development Bank and the Basic Needs Trust Fund.Meanwhile, President Donald Ramotar, during brief remarks expressed that the new school emphasizes Government’s commitment to educating its people including those differently-able, thus enabling them to, in turn, develop the country. He assured that Government will continue to invest in the people of the country, creating conditions for them to have a fulfilling and better quality of life through work.
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